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Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2012 Dec 31;10(2):232-45. eCollection 2013.

RAPD-PCR and real-time PCR HRM based genetic variation evaluations of Urtica dioica parts, ecotypes and evaluations of morphotypes in Turkey.

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Fatih University, Biology Department, 34500, Büyükçekmece, İstanbul, Turkey.


Urtica dioica is an ethnobotanically and medicinally important Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) plant worldwide and in Turkey; 90 % of herbal CAM applications depend on it in Turkey. It has a wide range of habitats in nearly all continents. It is found in all three phytogeographical regions in Turkey (Euro-Siberian, Irano-Turanian, Mediterranean) with high adaptivity to heterogeneous geographies such as climate, soil types and altitudes. This fact in relation to the assessment of chemical constituents of the plant and combining with further genetic and morphological variation data can assist and enhance the works for the utility and reliability of CAM applications in effect and activity of this plant species. In this work we have made some preliminary experiments with novel approaches to reveal the ecotypes and genetic variation of mighty ecotypes of Urtica dioica from different phytogeographical regions of Turkey (Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean). The ecotypes have heterogeneity in both its parts (leaf, stem, root) as revealed by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) using random primers and High-resolution Melt (HRM) analysis using Urtica dioica specific primers and universal chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) primers and morphological traits such as phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities of plants' leaf infusions as used in medicinal applications in Turkey. This work will contribute a lot for the development of molecular markers to detect the genetic variation and heterogeneity of Urtica dioica to further relate with expected phenotypes that are most useful and relevant in CAM applications.


High-resolution melt analysis; RAPD-PCR; Turkey; Urtica dioica; agglutinin isolectin VII precursor (chia5.7.2) gene exon 3; cpDNA; ecotype; phytogeography; real-time PCR; sequence matching

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