Planta Med 2001; 67(8): 784-786
DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-18341

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

A Molecular Marker that is Specific to Medicinal Rhubarb Based on Chloroplast trnL/trnF Sequences

Meihua Yang1, 2 , Daming Zhang1,*, Jianquan Liu3 , Junhua Zheng2
  • 1 Laboratory of Systematic & Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2 School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 3 Northwest Plateau Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qinghai, China
Further Information

Publication History

October 17, 2000

January 21, 2001

Publication Date:
09 November 2001 (online)


”Da-Huang” (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei, medicinal rhubarb), a famous and important Traditional Chinese Medicine, has often been confused with the adulterant species in the same genus, Rheum. Through sequencing the trnL (UAA)/trnF (GAA) regions of chloroplast DNA of thirteen species of Rheum (three medicinal rhubarb species and ten adulterant ones), a molecular marker of the medicinal species was found. A pair of PCR primers based on the sequences, was thus designed, which amplified a highly specific DNA fragment in medicinal rhubarb exclusively, and absent in the adulterants at all under an optimized PCR condition.


Dr. Daming Zhang

Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany

Institute of Botany



Beijing 100093

People's Republic of China

Fax: +86-10-62590843