Plant Diversity ›› 2013, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (5): 547-554.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201312148

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Application of DNA Barcoding in Chinese Acacia s.l. (Leguminosae)

 OU  Yang-Cheng-Ren-1、2, SUN  Hang-2, LI  Zhi-Min-1**, ZHANG  Jian-Wen-2   

  1. 1 School of Life Science, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650092, China; 2 Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and
    Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2012-11-08 Online:2013-09-25 Published:2013-03-20


It is difficult to identify Chinese species of Acacia accurately based on morphological assessment unless an intact specimen is at hand. In contrast, DNA barcoding through the analysis of short DNA sequences from a small sample of tissue can provide an accurate method for identifying species. In this study, we used four DNA fragments (rbcL, matK, psbAtrnH, and ITS) to develop a potential barcoding method for Chinese Acacia. Our analysis involved calculating inter and intraspecific genetic distances, conducting Wilcoxon signed rank tests to analyze the sequence variation, and constructing phylogenetic trees from distance data. The results showed that barcoding gaps exist between Acacia species for each of the four sequences, with ITS showing highest interspecific divergence. Both the use of ITS on its own and in combination with rbcL sequence variation gave the highest level of species identification. We therefore propose the use of ITS sequence variation on its own or combined with rbcL as a DNA barcode for identifying Acacia species in China.

Key words: Acacia, ITS, rbcL, matK, psbA-trnH, DNA barcoding, Species identification

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