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Planta Med. 2010 Dec;76(17):1963-74. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250519. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

New aspects of DNA-based authentication of Chinese medicinal plants by molecular biological techniques.

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Biology Department I-Systematic Botany, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Metzingerstrasse 67, Munich, Germany.


DNA technology provides a powerful tool to complement chemical analyses for authentication of Chinese medicinal plants and to ensure that herbal materials are not contaminated with ineffective or potentially harmful substitutes or adulterants. In the last two decades molecular biotechnology has provided sophisticated molecular techniques for authentication of botanical materials at the DNA level. This review provides an account of the most commonly used DNA-based technologies (RAPD, RFLP, ARMS, CAPS, AFLP, DAF, ISSR, SSR, sequencing, hybridization and microarrays) including suitable examples of Chinese medical plants. A critical evaluation of all methods is presented concerning sensitivity, reliability, reproducibility, and running costs. Recent achievements in the field of DNA barcoding and DNA chip technology that offer great potentials for screening of DNA and emerging new developments for future identification of species are briefly outlined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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