Plant Diversity ›› 2013, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (6): 707-714.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201313168

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Rapid Identification of Plant Species and iFlora: Application of DNA Barcoding in a Large Temperate Genus Pedicularis (Orobanchaceae)

 LIU  Min-Lu-1、2, YU  Wen-Bin-1,   Wang-Hong-1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Kunming 650201, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-08-30 Online:2013-11-25 Published:2013-09-29


DNA barcoding involves species identification using a short and standardized DNA region. This method has many advantages over traditional morphologybased identification, including greater effectivity, sensitivity, reliability, and standardization. In this study, we used 43 whorled/oppositeleaved species from the genus Pedicularis as a model system to test the utility of DNA barcoding for rapid identification of species in the taxa where traditional identification methods are timeconsuming and inaccurate. Four candidate DNA barcoding loci (three chloroplast: rbcL, matK, trnHpsbA, and one nuclear: ITS) were evaluated by tree and distancebased methods using a total of 164 accessions. Our results showed that species identification rates using the nuclear ITS locus (81.40% and 89.57% for tree and distancebased methods, respectively) surpassed those of the three chloroplast barcodes and all combinations of barcodes. In addition, the nuclear ITS locus was able to help identify some species that had previously been difficult to differentiate using only morphological traits. The demonstrated ability of DNA barcoding to efficiently discriminate among these Pedicularis species highlights the practicality and importance of its utility for the nextgeneration intelligent Flora (iFlora) in fulfilling the rapid and accurate identification of species. This new identification method will provide key information for traditional taxonomy and for investigations of ecology, evolutionary biology, population genetics, and conservation genetics, etc.

Key words: DNA barcoding, Rapid identification, iFlora, Pedicularis, Orobanchaceae

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