Identification of Cistanche species (Orobanchaceae) based on sequences of the plastid psbA-trnH intergenic region

Jian Ping Han, Jing Yuan Song, Chang Liu, Jun Chen, Jun Qian, Ying Jie Zhu, Lin Chun Shi, Hui Yao, Shi Lin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The dried succulent stems of Cistanche (Cistanche deserticola Y. C. Ma and Cistanche tubulosa Wight.) are one of the most widely used components of traditional Chinese medicines. However, it is often confused and substituted with the roots of Orobanche pycnostachya, Boschniakia rossica (Cham. & Schltdl.) Standl., Cistanche sinensis Beck, and Cistanche salsa (C. A. Mey.) Beck. In this study, we identified psbA-trnH regions from species and tested their suitable for the identification of the above mentioned taxa. The psbA-trnH sequences showed considerable variations between species and thus were revealed as a promising candidate for barcoding of Cistanche species. Additionally, the average genetic distance of psbA-trnH ranging from 0.077% to 0.743%. In contrast, the intra-specific variation among Cistanche species was found to be significantly different from those of other species, with percentages of variation studied ranged from 0% to 0.007%. The sequence difference between the psbA-trnH sequences of Cistanche species and Orobanche pycnostachya ranged from 0.979% to 1.149%. The distance between the Cistanche species and Boschniakia rossica ranged from 1.066% to 1.224%. Our results suggest that the psbA-trnH intergenic spacer region represent a barcode that can be used to identify Cistanche species and other morphologically undistinguishable species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-130
Number of pages5
JournalYaoxue Xuebao
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cistanche
  • Identification
  • The plastid psbA-trnH intergenic region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Molecular Medicine


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