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Genes Genomics. 2017;39(1):101-109. doi: 10.1007/s13258-016-0476-5. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

Identification and monitoring of Korean medicines derived from Cinnamomum spp. by using ITS and DNA marker.

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Department of Herbology, College of Korean Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan, 54538 Republic of Korea ; Center for Metabolic Function Regulation, Wonkwang University, Iksan, 54538 Republic of Korea.
Division of Pharmacology, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, 50612 Republic of Korea.
Division of Biological Sciences, Konkuk University, Seoul, 05029 Republic of Korea.
Department of Herbology, College of Korean Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan, 54538 Republic of Korea.


In this study, we identified and evaluated the genetic relationships among Cinnamomum plants, which are used in traditional medicine. We also attempted to monitor the distribution of traditional medicines derived from Cinnamomum cassia by using DNA barcoding and a species-specific DNA marker. Plants of the genus Cinnamomum, and in particular C. cassia, are commonly used as medicinal herbs in the form of Cinnamomi Ramulus, Cinnamomi Cortex, and Cassiae Cortex Interior. However, it is difficult to distinguish among different Cinnamomum species based on morphological features, and so to overcome this limitation, nucleotide sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of Cinnamomum DNA were determined and compared. On the basis of the discrepancy in determined ITS sequences, a 408-bp product, amplified by the primer pair CC F1/CC R3, was developed as a C. cassia-specific DNA marker. Using the developed DNA marker in combination with the ITS 2 nucleotide sequence, we monitored imported and commercially supplied medicinal products derived from Cinnamomum plants in markets in Korean, China, and Japan. The results revealed that most of the specimens monitored were derived from C. cassia.


Cassiae Cortex Interior; Cinnamomi Cortex; Cinnamomi Ramulus; Cinnamomum cassia; ITS (Internal transcribed spacer)

Conflict of interest statement

Eui Jeong Doh, Jung-Hoon Kim, Seung eun Oh and Guemsan Lee declare that they have no conflict of interest. Research involving human and animal participants This article does not contain any studies with human subjects or animals performed by any of the authors.

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