Planta Med 2004; 70(11): 1080-1084
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-832651
Original Paper
Analytical Methods
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Phylogenetic Analysis of the DNA Sequence of the Non-Coding Region of Nuclear Ribosomal DNA and Chloroplast of Ephedra Plants in China

Changfeng Long1 , Nobuko Kakiuchi1 , Akira Takahashi2 , Katsuko Komatsu3 , Shaoqing Cai4 , Masayuki Mikage1
  • 1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan
  • 2Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, Japan
  • 3Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan
  • 4Department of Natural Medicines, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China
Further Information

Publication History

Received: February 6, 2004

Accepted: March 14, 2004

Publication Date:
18 November 2004 (online)


Twenty-four Ephedra plants belonging to 8 species grown in the northern and western parts of China were phylogenetically analyzed for their non-coding DNA sequences, internal transcribed spacers (ITSs) of nuclear ribosomal DNA as well as trnL intron and intergenic spacers between trnL and trnF (trnL/trnF) of the chloroplast. Based on the ITS sequences, the 8 species could be divided into 3 groups: Group 1 (Ephedra intermedia, E. sinica, E. przewalskii), Group 2 (E. equisetina, E. monosperma, E. gerardiana), and Group 3 (E. likiangensis, E. minuta). The species classified into Group 1 grow mainly in the north, Group 3 in the south and Group 2 in the center, suggesting their genetic and geographic relationships. A specific primer set was designed to classify the 3 groups by routine PCR. Combined analysis of ITS and trnL/trnF differentiated the 8 Ephedra species.


ITS1:internal transcribed spacer 1

ITS2:internal transcribed spacer 2

trnL/trnF:intron of trnL and intergenic spacer between trnL and trnF

EI:Ephedra intermedia

ES:Ephedra sinica

EP:Ephedra przewalskii

EE:Ephedra equisetina

EM:Ephedra monosperma

EG:Ephedra gerardiana

EL:Ephedra likiangensis

EMu:Ephedra minuta


Dr. N. Kakiuchi

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Kanazawa University

13-1 Takaramachi

Kanazawa 920-0934


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