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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Ghorbani, Abdolbaset [1], Saeedi, Yousef [2], de Boer, Hugo J. [3].

Application of DNA Barcoding in Ethnobotany and Ethnopharmacology: Identifying medicinal plants traded in local markets.

Local markets are important places for trade of medicinal plants harvested by rural villagers. Markets provide a rapid insight into the medicinal plants growing in a region as well as local health concerns. However, accurate taxonomic identification of medicinal plants from markets is challenging as traded plant materials are mainly available in processed forms, such as dried roots and barks, powdered plant parts and mixtures, and these lack important diagnostic features for morphological identification. Molecular identification methods can be used as a mean to overcome identification problems of morphologically unidentifiable medicinal plant products. In this study, DNA barcoding-based molecular identification is evaluated as a method to approach the impediment that processed herbals pose to ethnobotanical and ethnopharmalogical studies. Seventeen herbal shops in Iran were surveyed for local medicinal plants, and 229 samples were purchased and information about their vernacular names, origin and details of use were recorded. Samples were identified based on morphological characters and assigned into families, genera and species when it was possible. Putative scientific names for each sample were also extracted from literature and herbal pharmacopoeia based on correspondence with vernacular names. DNA was extracted from 71 samples that were not identifiable to species level using morphology, and the nuclear ribosomal ITS and plastid trnL markers were amplified and sequenced. The resulting sequences enabled species level identification of 76% of the samples and genus level identification of 95.7% of the samples using BLAST queries against the NCBI GenBank nucleotide repository. DNA barcoding revealed differences between claimed species and actual identity of samples. Molecular identification is an effective strategy to identify traded plant material that lacks morphological characters in processed form, and is a valuable complement to morphology-based identification in ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological studies of medicinal plants. It can also detect substitutions of local species with officially accepted medicinal plants in the pharmacopoeias.

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1 - Systematic Biology, Organismal Biology, Norbyvaegen 18D, Uppsala, 75236, Sweden
2 - Traditional Medicine & Materia Medica Research Center, Shams Alley 10, Tehran, Iran
3 - Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway

Molecular identification
Medical ethnobotany
Market Survey.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Salon 2/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 11:45 AM
Number: 4015
Abstract ID:107
Candidate for Awards:None

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