Comparison of the wild and cultivated Merrillanthus hainanensis by DNA and HPLC fingerprint
Merrillanthus hainanensis Chun et Tsiang is the only species in Merrillanthus genus of Asclepiadaceae family (currently considered a subfamily of Apocynaceae). It is also an endangered species distributed in China. The aim of this study is to compare the similarities of the wild and cultivated M. hainanensis by DNA and HPLC technologies.DNA sequencing is a useful and reliable method for the identification of species, and HPLC fingerprint shows the details of chemical composition. In this study, we sequenced the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal RNA genes in the wild and cultivated types of M. hainanensis, and compared the sequences with other related species in Asclepiadaceae family. At the same time, we compared the HPLC fingerprints of the wild and the cultivated types of this plant. The sequencing results showed that the cultivated and wild-types of M. hainanensis have the same ITS sequences. Then the common ITS sequence was blasted in Genbank database. The highest similarity to this sequence is the ITS sequence of Tylophora tenuis (96.7%). Furthermore, comparison of HPLC fingerprint indicated that the wild type and the cultivated type were close like each other with twelve common peaks, which is consistent with the DNA sequencing. This work has shown that cultivation can be used to enlarge this endangered species.
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