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Training seminar on identification of Chinese herbal medicines using DNA barcoding technology

Release time:2014.01    Source:Hui Yao

 DNA barcoding is a technique used to identify species based on species-specific differences in short regions of their DNA. Compared with the traditional identification methods, DNA barcoding is not restricted by morphological characteristics and physiological conditions and allows species authentication without specialist taxonomic knowledge. The method is also standardized to specific DNA barcodes and universal primers, which is a favorable for building databases and establishing a universal standard for identification. DNA barcoding can achieve rapid, accurate, and automated identification of species from a diverse range and quality of raw materials. This addresses the difficulties involved in classifying herbal materials and promises to fuel a taxonomic renaissance in herbal identification.

Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (IMPLAD), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences firstly proposed ITS2 region as a universal barcode to identify medicinal plant around the world. In order to promote the research and application of DNA barcoding technologies in the field of Chinese herbal medicines, senior seminars on identification of Chinese herbal medicines using DNA barcoding technology have been held on April 9-12, June 16-19, October 20-23, 2012, and June 22-26, September 25-28, 2013 in IMPLAD.  

Over 300 trainees attended the seminars. They came from the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, Evidence Identification Center of the Ministry of Public Security, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, Institutes for Food and Drug Control in different provinces and cities, universities and companies, such as Xi'an Jiaotong University, China Pharmaceutical University, Jing brand Co., Ltd, and China Resources Sanjiu Medical & Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

The training seminar included what’s DNA barcoding and how can I start DNA barcoding. Protocols of DNA barcoding in sample collection, DNA extraction, PCR amplification, electrophoresis, and sequence quality evaluation, data analysis, software application, and sequence submission were explained in detail. The training program of DNA barcoding combined theory explanation, experimental operation and computer training, which is useful for practice and benefits the participants.


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