Phylogenomic Approaches to DNA Barcoding of Herbal Medicines: Developing Clade-Specific Diagnostic Characters for Berberis.
ABSTRACT: DNA barcoding of herbal medicines has been mainly concerned with authentication of products in trade and has raised awareness of species substitution and adulteration. More recently DNA barcodes have been included in pharmacopoeias, providing tools for regulatory purposes. The commonly used DNA barcoding regions in plants often fail to resolve identification to species level. This can be especially challenging in evolutionarily complex groups where incipient or reticulate speciation is ongoing. In this study, we take a phylogenomic approach, analyzing whole plastid sequences from the evolutionarily complex genus Berberis in order to develop DNA barcodes for the medicinally important species Berberis aristata. The phylogeny reconstructed from an alignment of ?160 kbp of chloroplast DNA for 57 species reveals that the pharmacopoeial species in question is polyphyletic, complicating development of a species-specific DNA barcode. Instead we propose a DNA barcode that is clade specific, using our phylogeny to define Operational Phylogenetic Units (OPUs). The plastid alignment is then reduced to small, informative DNA regions including nucleotides diagnostic for these OPUs. These DNA barcodes were tested on commercial samples, and shown to discriminate plants in trade and therefore to meet the requirement of a pharmacopoeial standard. The proposed method provides an innovative approach for inferring DNA barcodes for evolutionarily complex groups for regulatory purposes and quality control.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The concept of DNA barcoding for species identification has gained considerable momentum in animals because of fairly successful species identification using cytochrome oxidase I (COI). In plants, matK and rbcL have been proposed as standard barcodes. However, barcoding in complex genera is a challenging task. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the species discriminatory power of four reportedly most promising plant DNA barcoding loci (one from nuclear genome--ITS, and three from plastid genome--trnH-psbA, rbcL and matK) in species of Indian Berberis L. (Berberidaceae) and two other genera, Ficus L. (Moraceae) and Gossypium L. (Malvaceae). Berberis species were delineated using morphological characters. These characters resulted in a well resolved species tree. Applying both nucleotide distance and nucleotide character-based approaches, we found that none of the loci, either singly or in combinations, could discriminate the species of Berberis. ITS resolved all the tested species of Ficus and Gossypium and trnH-psbA resolved 82% of the tested species in Ficus. The highly regarded matK and rbcL could not resolve all the species. Finally, we employed amplified fragment length polymorphism test in species of Berberis to determine their relationships. Using ten primer pair combinations in AFLP, the data demonstrated incomplete species resolution. Further, AFLP analysis showed that there was a tendency of the Berberis accessions to cluster according to their geographic origin rather than species affiliation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We reconfirm the earlier reports that the concept of universal barcode in plants may not work in a number of genera. Our results also suggest that the matK and rbcL, recommended as universal barcode loci for plants, may not work in all the genera of land plants. Morphological, geographical and molecular data analyses of Indian species of Berberis suggest probable reticulate evolution and thus barcode markers may not work in this case.
Project description:A DNA barcode is a DNA fragment used to identify species. For land plants, DNA fragments of plastid genome could be the primary consideration. Unfortunately, most of the plastid candidate barcodes lack species-level resolution. The identification of DNA barcodes of high resolution at species level is critical to the success of DNA barcoding in plants. We searched the available plastid genomes for the most variable regions and tested the best candidates using both a large number of tree species and seven well-sampled plant groups. Two regions of the plastid gene ycf1, ycf1a and ycf1b, were the most variable loci that were better than existing plastid candidate barcodes and can serve as a barcode of land plants. Primers were designed for the amplification of these regions, and the PCR success of these primers ranged from 82.80% to 98.17%. Of 420 tree species, 357 species could be distinguished using ycf1b, which was slightly better than the combination of matK and rbcL. For the well-sampled representative plant groups, ycf1b generally performed better than any of the matK, rbcL and trnH-psbA. We concluded that ycf1a or ycf1b is the most variable plastid genome region and can serve as a core barcode of land plants.
Project description:<h4>Premise</h4>The tallgrass prairies of North America are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, making efficient species identification essential for understanding and managing diversity. Here, we assess DNA barcoding with high-throughput sequencing as a method for rapid plant species identification.<h4>Methods</h4>Using herbarium collections representing the tallgrass prairie flora of Oak Lake Field Station, South Dakota, USA, we amplified and examined four common nuclear and plastid barcode regions (ITS, <i>matK</i>, <i>psbA-trnH</i>, and <i>rbcL</i>), individually and in combination, to test their success in identifying samples to family, genus, and species levels using BLAST searches of three databases of varying size.<h4>Results</h4>Concatenated barcodes increased performance, although none were significantly different than single-region barcodes. The plastid region <i>psbA-trnH</i> performed significantly more poorly than the others, while barcodes containing ITS performed best. Database size significantly affected identification success at all three taxonomic levels. Confident species-level identification ranged from 8-44% for the global database, 13-56% for the regional database, and 21-80% for the sampled species database, depending on the barcode used.<h4>Discussion</h4>Barcoding was generally successful in identifying tallgrass prairie genera and families, but was of limited use in species-level identifications. Database size was an important factor in successful plant identification. We discuss future directions and considerations for improving the performance of DNA barcoding in tallgrass prairies.
Project description:DNA barcoding is a technique in which species identification is performed by using DNA sequences from a small fragment of the genome, with the aim of contributing to a wide range of ecological and conservation studies in which traditional taxonomic identification is not practical. DNA barcoding is well established in animals, but there is not yet any universally accepted barcode for plants. Here, we undertook intensive field collections in two biodiversity hotspots (Mesoamerica and southern Africa). Using >1,600 samples, we compared eight potential barcodes. Going beyond previous plant studies, we assessed to what extent a "DNA barcoding gap" is present between intra- and interspecific variations, using multiple accessions per species. Given its adequate rate of variation, easy amplification, and alignment, we identified a portion of the plastid matK gene as a universal DNA barcode for flowering plants. Critically, we further demonstrate the applicability of DNA barcoding for biodiversity inventories. In addition, analyzing >1,000 species of Mesoamerican orchids, DNA barcoding with matK alone reveals cryptic species and proves useful in identifying species listed in Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) appendixes.
Project description:DNA barcoding is expected to be one of the most promising tools in biological taxonomy. However, there have been no agreements on which core barcode should be used in plants, especially in species-rich genera with wide geographical distributions. To evaluate their discriminatory power in large genera, four of the most widely used DNA barcodes, including three plastid regions (matK, rbcL, trnH-psbA) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer (nrITS), were tested in seven species-rich genera (Ficus, Pedicularis, Rhodiola, Rhododendron,Viburnum, Dendrobium and Lysimachia) and a moderate size genus, Codonopsis. All of the sequences from the aforementioned seven large genera were downloaded from NCBI. The related barcodes for Codonopsis were newly generated in this study. Genetics distances, DNA barcoding gaps and phylogenetic trees of the four single barcodes and their combinations were calculated and compared in the seven genera. As for single barcode, nrITS has the most variable sites, the clearest intra- and inter-specific divergences and the highest discrimination rates in the seven genera. Among the combinations of barcodes, ITS+matK performed better than all the single barcodes in most cases and even the three- and four-loci combinations in the seven genera. Therefore, we recommend ITS+matK as the core barcodes for large plant genera.
Project description:DNA barcoding is a technique for discriminating and identifying species using short, variable, and standardized DNA regions. Here, we tested for the first time the performance of plastid and nuclear regions as DNA barcodes in Passiflora. This genus is a largely variable, with more than 900 species of high ecological, commercial, and ornamental importance. We analyzed 1034 accessions of 222 species representing the four subgenera of Passiflora and evaluated the effectiveness of five plastid regions and three nuclear datasets currently employed as DNA barcodes in plants using barcoding gap, applied similarity-, and tree-based methods. The plastid regions were able to identify less than 45% of species, whereas the nuclear datasets were efficient for more than 50% using "best match" and "best close match" methods of TaxonDNA software. All subgenera presented higher interspecific pairwise distances and did not fully overlap with the intraspecific distance, and similarity-based methods showed better results than tree-based methods. The nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region presented a higher discrimination power than the other datasets and also showed other desirable characteristics as a DNA barcode for this genus. Therefore, we suggest that this region should be used as a starting point to identify Passiflora species.
Project description:DNA barcodes can facilitate identification of organisms especially when morphological characters are limited or unobservable. To what extent this potential is realized in specific groups of plants remains to be determined. Libraries of barcode sequences from well-studied authoritatively identified plants represented by herbarium voucher specimens are needed in order for DNA barcodes to serve their intended purpose, where this is possible, and to understand the reasons behind their failure to do so, when this occurs. We evaluated four loci, widely regarded as universal DNA barcodes for plants, for their utility in hawthorn species identification. Three plastid regions, matK, rbcLa and psbA-trnH, and the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA discriminate only some of the species of Crataegus that can be recognized on the basis of their morphology etc. This is, in part, because in Rosaceae tribe Maleae most individual plastid loci yield relatively little taxonomic resolution and, in part, because the effects of allopolyploidization have not been eliminated by concerted evolution of the ITS regions. Although individual plastid markers provided generally poor resolution of taxonomic groups in Crataegus, a few species were notable exceptions. In contrast, analyses of concatenated sequences of the 3 plastid barcode loci plus 11 additional plastid loci gave a well-resolved maternal phylogeny. In the ITS2 tree, different individuals of some species formed groups with taxonomically unrelated species. This is a sign of lineage sorting due to incomplete concerted evolution in ITS2. Incongruence between the ITS2 and plastid trees is best explained by hybridization between different lineages within the genus. In aggregate, limited between-species variation in plastid loci, hybridization and a lack of concerted evolution in ITS2 all combine to limit the utility of standard barcoding markers in Crataegus. These results have implications for authentication of hawthorn materials in natural health products.
Project description:Aim:DNA barcoding has been widely applied to species diversity assessment in various ecosystems, including temperate forests, subtropical forests, and tropical rain forests. However, tropical coral islands have never been barcoded before due to the difficulties in field exploring. This study aims at barcoding the flowering plants from a unique ecosystem of the tropical coral islands in the Pacific Ocean and supplying valuable evolutionary information for better understanding plant community assembly of those particular islands in the future. Location:Xisha Islands, China. Methods:This study built a DNA barcode database for 155 plant species from the Xisha Islands using three DNA markers (ITS, rbcL, and matK). We applied the sequence similarity method and a phylogenetic-based method to assess the barcoding resolution. Results:All the three DNA barcodes showed high levels of PCR success (96%-99%) and sequencing success (98%-100%). ITS performed the highest rate of species resolution (>95%) among the three markers, while plastid markers delivered a relatively poor species resolution (85%-90%). Our analyses obtained a marginal increase in species resolution when combining the three DNA barcodes. Main conclusions:This study provides the first plant DNA barcode data for the unique ecosystem of tropical coral islands and considerably supplements the DNA barcode library for the flowering plants on the oceanic islands. Based on the PCR and sequencing success rates, and the discriminatory power of the three DNA regions, we recommend ITS as the most successful DNA barcode to identify the flowering plants from Xisha Islands. Due to its high sequence variation and low fungal contamination, ITS could be a preferable candidate of DNA barcode for plants from other tropical coral islands as well. Our results also shed lights on the importance of biodiversity conservation of tropical coral islands.
Project description:Fritillariae cirrhosae bulbus is a famous type of traditional Chinese medicine used for cough relief and eliminating phlegm. The medicine originates from dried bulbs of five species and one variety of Fritillaria. Recently, immature bulbs from other congeneric species, such as F. ussuriensis, have been sold as adulterants of Fritillariae cirrhosae bulbus in medicine markets owing to the high price and limited availability of the genuine medicine. However, it is difficult to accurately identify the bulbs from different original species of Fritillariae cirrhosae bulbus and its adulterants based on traditional methods, although such medicines have different prices and treatment efficacies. The present study adopted DNA barcoding to identify these different species and compared the discriminatory power of super, universal, and specific barcodes in Fritillaria. The results revealed that the super-barcode had strong discriminatory power (87.5%). Among universal barcodes, matK provided the best species resolution (87.5%), followed by ITS (62.5%), rbcL (62.5%), and trnH-psbA (25%). The combination of these four universal barcodes provided the highest discriminatory power (87.5%), which was equivalent to that of the super-barcode. Two plastid genes, ycf1 and psbM-psbD, had much better discriminatory power (both 87.5%) than did other plastid barcodes, and were suggested as potential specific barcodes for identifying Fritillaria species. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that F. cirrhosa was not a "good" species that was composed of multiple lineages, which might have affected the evaluation of the discriminatory ability. This study revealed that the complete plastid genome, as super barcode, was an efficient and reliable tool for identifying the original species of Fritillariae cirrhosae bulbus and its adulterants.
Project description:DNA barcodes are widely used in taxonomy, systematics, species identification, food safety, and forensic science. Most of the conventional DNA barcode sequences contain the whole information of a given barcoding gene. Most of the sequence information does not vary and is uninformative for a given group of taxa within a monophylum. We suggest here a method that reduces the amount of noninformative nucleotides in a given barcoding sequence of a major taxon, like the prokaryotes, or eukaryotic animals, plants, or fungi. The actual differences in genetic sequences, called single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, provide a tool for developing a rapid, reliable, and high-throughput assay for the discrimination between known species. Here, we investigated SNPs as robust markers of genetic variation for identifying different pigeon species based on available cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) data. We propose here a decision tree-based SNP barcoding (DTSB) algorithm where SNP patterns are selected from the DNA barcoding sequence of several evolutionarily related species in order to identify a single species with pigeons as an example. This approach can make use of any established barcoding system. We here firstly used as an example the mitochondrial gene COI information of 17 pigeon species (Columbidae, Aves) using DTSB after sequence trimming and alignment. SNPs were chosen which followed the rule of decision tree and species-specific SNP barcodes. The shortest barcode of about 11 bp was then generated for discriminating 17 pigeon species using the DTSB method. This method provides a sequence alignment and tree decision approach to parsimoniously assign a unique and shortest SNP barcode for any known species of a chosen monophyletic taxon where a barcoding sequence is available.