Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Molecular identification of commercialized medicinal plants in southern Morocco
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology. (Systematic Biology)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology. (Systematic Biology)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology.
Show others and affiliations
2012 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 6, e39459- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Medicinal plant trade is important for local livelihoods. However, many medicinal plants are difficult to identify when they are sold as roots, powders or bark. DNA barcoding involves using a short, agreed-upon region of a genome as a unique identifier for species-ideally, as a global standard. Research Question: What is the functionality, efficacy and accuracy of the use of barcoding for identifying root material, using medicinal plant roots sold by herbalists in Marrakech, Morocco, as a test dataset. Methodology: In total, 111 root samples were sequenced for four proposed barcode regions rpoC1, psbA-trnH, matK and ITS. Sequences were searched against a tailored reference database of Moroccan medicinal plants and their closest relatives using BLAST and Blastclust, and through inference of RAxML phylograms of the aligned market and reference samples. Principal Findings: Sequencing success was high for rpoC1, psbA-trnH, and ITS, but low for matK. Searches using rpoC1 alone resulted in a number of ambiguous identifications, indicating insufficient DNA variation for accurate species-level identification. Combining rpoC1, psbA-trnH and ITS allowed the majority of the market samples to be identified to genus level. For a minority of the market samples, the barcoding identification differed significantly from previous hypotheses based on the vernacular names. Conclusions/Significance: Endemic plant species are commercialized in Marrakech. Adulteration is common and this may indicate that the products are becoming locally endangered. Nevertheless the majority of the traded roots belong to species that are common and not known to be endangered. A significant conclusion from our results is that unknown samples are more difficult to identify than earlier suggested, especially if the reference sequences were obtained from different populations. A global barcoding database should therefore contain sequences from different populations of the same species to assure the reference sequences characterize the species throughout its distributional range.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 7, no 6, e39459- p.
National Category
Botany Biological Systematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178109DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039459ISI: 000305825800036OAI: diva2:542021
Available from: 2012-07-27 Created: 2012-07-27 Last updated: 2012-10-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Desert Plants and Deserted Islands: Systematics and Ethnobotany in Caryophyllaceae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Desert Plants and Deserted Islands: Systematics and Ethnobotany in Caryophyllaceae
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background. Caryophyllaceae is a large and cosmopolitic flowering plant family, however the systematics of many of its basal groups has been unclear, due to a lack of unambiguous morphology. Some members of Caryophyllaceae are used medicinally, e.g. Corrigiola roots in Morocco. Monitoring the trade in medicinal plants is complicated due to the absence of useful identification characters in plant products such as roots, bark, and powders.

This thesis aims at elucidating the systematics and the ethnobotany of some of the basal clades in Caryophyllaceae. Methods. A comprehensive sampling from herbarium as well as market and field collected material was used in systematic studies combining morphological investigation, molecular phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses. Results. The data show that Polycarpon is polyphyletic, that Sphaerocoma is sister to Pollichia and shows some intraspecific variation, that Sanctambrosia falls within the genus Spergularia, and that both Spergula and Spergularia are monophyletic. Preliminary data suggest that Polycarpaea is polyphyletic and should be split into three larger and several smaller genera, that the members of Paronychia subgen. Anaplonychia will need to be transferred to Herniaria to maintain monophyly, and that Caryophyllaceae emerged during the Paleocene. All the major extant lineages originated in the Oligocene and diversified later. Using molecular identification it was possible to identify around 50% of the Moroccan medicinal roots to species level and an additional 30% to genus level. Discussion and conclusions. The polyphyletic Polycarpon needs to be split into at least three separate genera, but no name changes were made pending further research. The two species of Sphaerocoma were merged into one species with two subspecies. The San Ambrosio Island endemic Sanctambrosia, the only tree-like plant in Caryophyllaceae, is probably the result of a long distance dispersal event and its woody habit and gynodioecy are probably caused by inbreeding depression. Sanctambrosia manicata is transferred to Spergularia. Molecular identification put into practice on traded medicinal roots has a somewhat lower success rate than most theoretical studies, indicating that a global barcoding database would need to include reference sequences from a broad range of populations for each species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 52 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 972
BEAST, Corrigiola, DNA barcoding, Morocco, Pollichia, Polycarpon, Polycarpaea, RAxML, Sanctambrosia, Spergula, Spergularia, Sphaerocoma
National Category
Biological Sciences Botany Biological Systematics
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-179853 (URN)978-91-554-8471-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-26, Lindahlsalen, Norbyvägen 18, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-10-04 Created: 2012-08-24 Last updated: 2013-04-02

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(387 kB)729 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 387 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Kool, Anneleende Boer, Hugo J.Rydberg, AndersBjörk, Lars
By organisation
Systematic Biology
In the same journal
BotanyBiological Systematics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 729 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 336 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link