The Chinese plant, “Packchul”, (Atractylodes japonica or A. macrocephala), is a very important Chinese medicinal herb plant and is called Sabju in Korea. The levels of the active components are different between these two species, but these medicines are sold in Korean herbal markets without discrimination. This study was carried out to develop a method that could be used to discriminate between A. japonica and A. macrocephala based on molecular markers. To discriminate between A. japonica and A. macrocephala, RAPD analyses were used to develop SCAR markers. Eighteen species-specific RAPD bands were obtained from 52 OPERON and URP primer sets. Two SCAR markers were developed from these RAPD clones. Both SCAR markers were cloned into pGEM-T-Easy vectors and then subjected to nucleotide sequence analysis and designated AjR1 (1,117 bp) and AmR1 (1,325 bp). These two markers were sufficient to discriminate between samples of A. japonica and A. macrocephala.
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