Application of molecular markers in medicinal plant studies

Open access


The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 80% of the world’s population in developing countries depends primarily on herbal medicine for basic healthcare needs. Approximately two thirds of the 50 000 different medicinal plant species in use are collected from the wild and only 10% of medicinal species used commercially are cultivated. DNA-based molecular markers have utility in the fields like taxonomy, physiology, embryology, genetics, etc. DNA-based techniques have been widely used for authentication of plant species of medicinal importance. The geographical conditions affect the active constituents of the medicinal plant and hence their activity profiles. Many researchers have studied geographical variation at the genetic level. Estimates of genetic diversity are also important in designing crop improvement programmes for the management of germplasm and evolving conservation strategies. The DNA-based molecular marker helps in the improvement of medicinal plant species. DNA markers are more reliable because the genetic information is unique for each species and is independent of age, physiological conditions and environmental factors.


  • [1] Abd EI-Twab MH, Zahran F. A. (2010), RAPD, ISSR and RFLP analysis of phylogenetic relationships among congeneric species (Anthemideae, Asteraceae) in Egpyt. International Journal of Botany 6: 1-10.

  • [2] Adiguzel A., Agar G., Baris O., Medine G., Fikrettin S., Meryem S. (2006), RAPD and FAME analyses of Astragalus species growing in eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 34: 424-432.

  • [3] Amarger V., Mercier L. (1995), Molecular analysis of RAPD DNA based markers: Their potential use for the detection of genetic variability in jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis L. Schneider). Biochimie 72: 931-936.

  • [4] Barth S., Melchinger A. E., Lubberstedt T. (2002), Genetic diversity in Arabidopsis thaliana L. Heynh. investigated by cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Molecular Ecololgy 11: 495-505.

  • [5] Bayder N. G., Bayder H., Debener T. (2004), Analysis of genetic relationships among Rosa damascena plants grown in Turkey by using AFLP and microsatellite markers. Journal of Biotechnology 111: 263-269.

  • [6] Bert P. F., Charmet G., Sourdille P., Hayward M. D., Balfourier F. (1999), A highdensity molecular map for ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using AFLP markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 99: 445-452.

  • [7] Braga R. A., Dal Fabbro I. M., Borem F. M., Rabelo G., Arizaga R., Rabal H. J., Trivi M. (2003), Assessment of seed viability by laser speckle technology. Biosystems Engineering 86: 287-294.

  • [8] Chen K. T., Su Y. C., Lin J. G., Hsin L. H., Su Y. P., Su C. H., Li S. Y., Cheng J. H., Mao S. J. T. (2001), Identification of Atractylodes plants in Chinese herbs and formulations by random amplified polymorphic DNA. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 22: 493-497.

  • [9] Cheng K. T., Su B., Chen C. T., Lin C. C. )2000, RAPD analysis of Astragalus medicines marketed in Taiwan. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 28: 273-278.

  • [10] Cheng K. T., Tsay H. S., Chen C. F., Chou T. W. (1998), Determination of the components in a Chinese prescription, Yu-Ping-Feng San, by RAPD analysis. Planta Medica 64: 563-565.

  • [11] Cheng Z., Lu B. R., Baldwin B. S., Sameshima K., Chen J. K. (2002). Comparative studies of genetic diversity in kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) varieties based on analysis of agronomic and RAPD data. Hereditas 136: 231-239.

  • [12] Coles N. D., Coleman C. E., Christensen S. A., Jellen E. N., Stevens M. R., Bonifacio A., Rojas-Beltran J. A., Fairbanks D. J., Maughan P. J. (2005), Development and use of an expressed sequenced tag library in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) for the discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms. Plant Science 168: 439-447.

  • [13] Friesen N., Blattner, F. R. (1999), RAPD analysis reveals geographic differentiations within Allium schoenoprasum L. (Alliaceae). Planta Meica 65: 157-160.

  • [14] Fu R. Z., Wang J., Zhang Y. B., Wang Z. T., But P. P., Li N., Shaw P. C. (1999), Differentiation of medicinal Codonopsis species from adulterants by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Planta Meica 65: 648-650.

  • [15] Gilmore S., Peakall R. (2003), Isolation of microsatellite markers in Cannabis sativa L. (Marijuana) in fibre crop varieties. Molecular Ecology Notes 3: 105-107.

  • [16] Gocmen B., Jermstad K. D., Neale D. B., Kaya Z. (1996), Development of random amplified polymorphic DNA markers for genetic mapping in Pacific yew (Taxusbrevifolia). Canadian Journal of Forest Research 26: 497-503.

  • [17] Grattapaglia D., Sederoff R. (1994), Genetic linkage maps of Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla using a pseudo-testcross: mapping strategy and RAPD markers. Genetics 137: 1121-1137.

  • [18] Hosokawa K., Minami M., Kawahara K., Nakamura I., Shibata T. (2000), The sequences of the spacer region between the atpF and atpA genes in the plastid genome allows discrimination among three varieties of medicinal Angelica. Planta Medica 66: 270-272.

  • [19] Jana H., Eva C., (1997), RFLP analysis of Hypericum perforatum L. somaclones and their progenies. Euphytica 95: 229-235.

  • [20] Kapteyn J., Goldsbrough B., Simon E. (2002), Genetic relationships and diversity of commercially relevant Echinacea species. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 105: 369-376.

  • [21] Labra M., Mariangela M., Bernardetta L., Fabrizio G., Mauro M., Francesco S., (2004), Morphological characterization, essential oil com position and DNA genotyping of Ocimum basilicum L. cultivars. Plant Science 167: 725-731.

  • [22] Leela T., Suhas P. W., Seetha K., Naresh B., Thakur K. S., David A. H., Prathibha Devi, Rajeev K. V. (2009), AFLP-based molecular characterization of an elite germplasm collection of Jatropha Curcas L., a biofuel plant. Plant Science 176: 505-513.

  • [23] Lind-Hallden C., Hallden C., Sall T. (2002), Genetic variation in Arabidopsis suecica and its parental species A. arenosa and A. thaliana. Hereditas 136: 45-50.

  • [24] Mehrnia M., Shahin Z. and Ashrafoldin S. S. (2005), Intra- and inter-specific relationships within the Astragalus microcephalus complex (Fabaceae) using RAPD. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 33: 149-158.

  • [25] Miller Coyle H., Palmbach T., Juliano N., Ladd C., Lee H. C. (2003), An overview of DNA methods for the identification and individualization of marijuana. Croation Medical Journal 44: 315-321.

  • [26] Nakai R., Shoyama Y., Shiraishi S. (1996), Genetic characterization of Epimedium species using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) diagnosis. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 19: 67-70.

  • [27] Negi M. S., Singh A., Laksmikumaran M. (2000), Genetic variation and relationship among and within Withania species as revealed by AFLP markers. Genome 43: 975-80.

  • [28] Ngan F., Shaw P., But P., andWang J. (1999), Molecular authentication of Panax species. Phytochemistry 50: 787-791.

  • [29] Padmesh P., Sabu K. K., Seeni S., Pushpangadan P. (1999), The use of RAPD in assessing genetic variability in Andrographis paniculata Nees, a hepatoprotective drug. Current Science 76: 833-835.

  • [30] Peters J. L., Constandt H., Neyt P., Cnops G., Zethof J., Zabeau M., Gerats T. (2001), A physical amplified fragment-length polymorphism map of Arabidopsis. Plant Physiolgy 127: 1579-1589.

  • [31] Pourmohammad A., Moghaddam Vahed M., Khosrowchahli M., Mohammadi S. A., Yousefi A. (2010a), Genetic variation of hulless barley with agronomic traits and RAPD markers. 11th Iranian crop science congress. Iran, Tehran, Environmental Science Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, 24-26 July 2010. (In Farsi).

  • [32] Pourmohammad A., Moghaddam Vahed M., Khosrowchahli M., Mohammadi S. A., Yousefi A. (2010b), Study of genetic diversity by RAPD markers and identification of informative markers for grain yield and its components in hulless barley genotypes. Seed and Plant Improvement Journal 253-267. (In Farsi).

  • [33] Prince J. P., Lackney V. K., Angels C., Blauth, J. R., Kyle M. M. (1995), A survey of DNA polymorphism within the genus Capsicum and the fingerprinting of pepper cultivars. Genome 38: 224-231.

  • [34] Salim Khan, Khanda J. M., Malik Z. A. (2010), Development of RAPD markers for authentication of medicinal plant Cuscuta reflexa. Eurasian Journal of Biosciences 4: 1-7.

  • [35] SalimKhan, Khanda J. M., Md Tayaab, Malik Z. A. (2009), RAPD profile for authentication of Medicinal plant Glycyrrhiza glabra L. Internet Journal of Food safety 11: 24-28.

  • [36] Satya Narayan J., Susheel Kumar and Narayanan K. Nair (2009), Molecular phylogeny in Indian Citrus L. (Rutaceae) inferred through PCRRFLP and trnL-trnF sequence data of chloroplast DNA. Scientia Horticulturae. 119(4): 403-416.

  • [37] Soni K., Shruti R., Ankit G., Karma Y., Saurabh P., Pradeep K. N. and Harvinder Singh (2010), Genetic characterisation of Rhodiola rosea using gene specific SSR and CAPS molecular markers. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology Journal 11: 1-10.

  • [38] Srivatsava S., Nidhi M. (2009), Genetic Markers - A cutting edge technology in herbal Drug research. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research 1: 1-18.

  • [39] Sultan P., Shawl A. S., Rehman S., Fayaz Ahmed S., Ramteke P. W. (2010), Molecular characterization and marker based chemotaxonomic studies of Podophyllum hexandrum Royle. Fitoterapia 81: 243-247.

  • [40] Tessier C., David J., This P., Boursiquot J. M., Charrier A. (1999), Optimization of the choice of molecular markers for varietal identification in Vitis vinifera L. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 98: 171-177.

  • [41] Van D. B., Breyne P., Goetghebeur P., Romijn-Peeters E., Kyndt T., Gheysen G. (2002), AFLP analysis of genetic relationships among papaya and its wild relatives (Caricaceae) from Ecuador. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 105: 289-297.

  • [42] Wachira F. N., Waugh R., Hackett C. A. Powell W. (1995), Detection of genetic diversity in tea (Camellia sinensis) using RAPD markers. Genome 38: 201-210.

  • [43] Wolf H. T., Berg T. V. D., Czygan F. C., Mosandl A., Winckler T., Zundorf I., Dingermann T. (1999), Identification of Melissa officinalis subspecies by DNA fingerprinting. Planta Medica 65: 83-85.

  • [44] Yamazaki M., Sato A., Shimomura K., Saito K., Murakoshi I. (1994), Genetic relationships among Glycyrrhiza plants determined by RAPD AND RFLP analyses. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 17: 1529-1531.

  • [45] Zhang K. Y., Leung H. W., Yeung H. W.,Wong R. N. (2001), Differentiation of Lycium barbarum from its related Lycium species using random amplified polymorphic DNA. Planta Medica 67: 379-381.

Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Agriculture and Environment

The Journal of "Sapientia" Hungarian University of Transylvania

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 23 23 23
PDF Downloads 11 11 11