Planta Med 2008; 74(15): 1846-1852
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1088330
Original Paper
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Genetic Relationships among Rehmannia glutinosa Cultivars and Varieties

Jianjun Qi1 , Xianen Li1 , Jingyuan Song1 , A. Egrinya Eneji2 , Xiaojun Ma1
  • 1Institute of Medicinal Plants Development, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China
  • 2College of Agronomy & Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, P. R. China
Further Information

Publication History

Received: April 7, 2008 Revised: August 25, 2008

Accepted: September 1, 2008

Publication Date:
18 November 2008 (eFirst)


Many cultivars of Rehmannia glutinosa are grown in China for medicinal uses, but detailed agronomic and morphological descriptions are available for only a few. Knowledge of genetic relationships among most of the cultivars is also scanty and poorly documented. Here, cultivars, varieties and some sexually produced seeds of R. glutinosa were raised in the field and studied for morphological diversity including shape, color, edges of leaves, color of anther, cornal and root, as well as yield of the medicinal part of the roots. Random amplified polymorphism DNA (RAPD) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) were used to determine genetic relationships and ribosome DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences were used for analyzing sequence variations and phylogenetic history. The 118 and 1019 polymorphic markers produced by 10 RAPD and 8 AFLP primers discriminated cultivars and varieties satisfactorily. Sixty-eight accessions were clustered in three main groups at 0.69 similarity levels by unweighted pair-group method arithmetic average (UPGMA) cluster analysis using RAPD in combination with AFLP markers. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) and Shannon index were 0.438 and 2.19 in RAPD and 0.476 and 26.68 in AFLP primers, respectively. This indicates that AFLP markers would be more efficient than RAPD for screening large numbers of R. glutinosa accessions. The analysis of ITS sequences indicated that ITS1 – 5.8S-ITS2 of R. glutinosa was informative in its 611 – 614-bp-long sequence and had 106 variable sites. Phylogenetic trees generated based on ITS sequences as well as the dendrogram obtained from two molecular markers identified four accessions: BY3, BY5, BY6 and Wildness6, with great genetic divergence.


Prof. Dr. Xiaojun Ma

Institute of Medicinal PlantsDevelopment

Peking Union Medical College

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

Beijing 100193

People’s Republic of China

Phone: +86-10-6281-0019

Fax: +86-10-6289-6313