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WJ Kim, S Yang, G Choi, I Park, P Noh, MJ Kim and BC Moon
Abstract
Dimocarpus longan, Litchi chinensis, and Nephelium lappaceum are commercially valuable subtropical and tropical fruits of the Sapindaceae family. Arillus and seeds of the three species have very similar morphologies; however, the arillus of D. longan is used as the herbal medicine Longan Arillus and seeds of L. chinensis are used as Litchi Semen in Korean and Chinese pharmacopoeias. The adulteration of herbal medicines with inauthentic species, including the use of Aril and seed fractions acquired from a single species for two herbal medicines (e.g., Longan Arillus and Litchi Semen), is often driven by economic motives. DNA markers are a tool for the detection of adulterants in commercial products. To establish rapid and reliable assays for the genetic identification of authentic Longan Arillus and Litchi Semen, we developed DNA markers with high specificity and sensitivity based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. The newly developed DNA markers and multiplex PCR assay may contribute to efforts to protect against adulteration, quality control, and the standardization of herbal medicines.
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