J Syst Evol ›› 2008, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (4): 614-621.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1002.2008.07123

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Development of species-specific SCAR markers for identification of three medicinal species of Phyllanthus


  1. (Applied Taxonomic Research Center, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand)
  • Received:2007-09-18 Published:2008-07-18

Abstract: Phyllanthus amarus Schum. & Thonn. has been widely used in traditional medicine in Thailand as an antipyretic, a diuretic, to treat liver diseases and viral infections. Two closely related species, P. debilis L. and P. urinaria Klein ex Willd., with different and less effective medicinal properties, are less commonly used. These three species are similar in morphology and often occur in overlapping populations in nature. The latter two species can easily be mistaken for P. amarus and collected for medicinal uses, which can lead to undesirable results. DNA fingerprints of these species were obtained using RAPD-PCR techniques. RAPD markers specific for each species were identified. Primers for highly specific sequence-characterized-amplified-regions (SCAR) were then designed from nucleotide sequences of specific RAPD markers. These primers efficiently amplified SCAR markers of 408, 501 and 319 bp unique to P. amarus, P. debilis and P. urinaria respectively. This method of plant identification was rapid and highly specific when tested against DNA of several closely related species and was able to amplify specific markers from mixed DNA samples.

Key words: Phyllanthus amarus, Phyllanthus debilis, Phyllanthus urinaria, RAPD-PCR, sequence-characterized-amplified-region (SCAR) marker