Identification of Angelica acutiloba and Related Species by Analysis of Inter- and Intra-Specific Sequence Variations in Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences


Japanese Angelica Root prepared from Angelica acutiloba var. acutiloba and A. acutiloba var. sugiyamae, known in Japan as “Toki” and “Hokkai Toki”, is an important crude drug used in Kampo medicine (traditional Japanese medicine). However, since these Angelica varieties have recently outcrossed with each other, it is unclear whether Japanese Angelica Root sold for use in Kampo medicine is a pure variety. Here, we describe DNA sequence polymorphisms that can be used to distinguish between A. acutiloba var. acutiloba and A. acutiloba var. sugiyamae. In our analyses, differences in the trnK region of chloroplast DNA distinguished among some A. acutiloba varieties and related species, but not between A. acutiloba var. acutiloba and A. acutiloba var. iwatensis. One geographical strain of A. acutiloba var. acutiloba and A. acutiloba var. sugiyamae showed identical sequences in three regions of chloroplast DNA, but differences in the internal transcribed spacer region of nuclear ribosomal DNA. One strain of A. acutiloba var. iwatensis and A. acutiloba var. sugiyamae had identical sequences in all of the chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA regions examined. These findings show that A. acutiloba var. acutiloba has hybridized with A. acutiloba var. sugiyamae and that the “Hokkai Toki” variety resulted from outcrossing with A. acutiloba var. iwatensis. Molecular authentication based on analyses of chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences of A. acutiloba and related species is an efficient method to authenticate Japanese Angelica Root at the variety level. Therefore, these analyses can determine whether a product is derived from A. acutiloba var. acutiloba or A. acutiloba var. sugiyamae.

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K. Matsubara, S. Shindo, H. Watanabe and F. Ikegami, "Identification of Angelica acutiloba and Related Species by Analysis of Inter- and Intra-Specific Sequence Variations in Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 9, 2012, pp. 1260-1265. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.39152.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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