Systematics Section / ASPT
Cameron, Kenneth M. .
DNA Barcoding as a method for Vanilla (Orchidaceae) species identification.
THE familiar black and white barcode label that is present on most commercial products allows for billions of unique products to be identified and tracked. In the same manner, a short segment of variable DNA sequence should be able to identify different organisms from one another – i.e., a “DNA barcode”. Among the uses for DNA barcoding being heralded are that it can: 1) identify an organism from only a small fragment of tissue rather than requiring the entire organism; 2) works at all stages of life, from seed to adult; and 3) unmasks look-alike species. Whereas zoologists have found that a short, 600 base-pair fragment of DNA from the mitochondrial genome exhibits sufficient variation to allow for unique identification of most animal species, that same DNA region does not work in plants. To test the application of a plant DNA barcode, several gene fragments (e.g., rpoC1, accD, YCF5, and rpoB) and intergenic spacers (e.g., psbA-trnH and ITS) were sequenced for more than 50 different accessions of Vanilla species from around the world. Each Vanilla species has a unique DNA sequence, and these “DNA barcodes” allow for easy identification of the plants from just a small fragment of leaf, stem, or fruit tissue. For example, the various leafless species of Vanilla are difficult to identify when not in flower, but a simple DNA test can provide the correct name of a plant with minimal effort. Furthermore, the ability to identify processed Vanilla beans as being derived from plants of Vanilla tahitensis versus V. planifolia, V. pompona, or other wild Vanilla species could be an important application of molecular biology for the vanilla flavor and fragrance industry.
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1 - New York Botanical Garden, Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics Studies, 200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard, Bronx, New York, 10458, USA
DNA Bar Coding.
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 4:30 PM