Biodiv Sci ›› 2008, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (5): 417-425.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08215

• Reviews •     Next Articles

Current advances of DNA barcoding study in plants

Ning Shuping1,3, Yan Haifei1, Hao Gang2, Ge Xuejun1,*()   

  1. 1 South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
    2 College of Life Sciences, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642
    3 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2008-08-23 Accepted:2008-09-18 Online:2008-09-20 Published:2008-09-20
  • Contact: Ge Xuejun


DNA barcoding has become one of hotspots of biodiversity research in the last five years. It is a method of rapid and accurate species identification and recognition using a short, standardized DNA region. DNA barcoding is now well established for animals, using a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome coxidase subunit 1 (COI or cox1) as the standard universal barcode. However, in plants, progress has been hampered by slow substitution rates in mitochondrial DNA. A number of different chloroplast regions have been proposed. There has been considerable debate, but little consensus regarding region choice for DNA barcoding land plants. Direct comparative assessment of different barcoding regions is now a priority to enable a standard barcoding solution to be agreed in plants. The proposed chloroplast barcoding regions mainly include five coding (rpoB, rpoC1, matK, rbcL, UPA) and three non-coding (trnH-psbA, atpF-atpH, psbK-psbI) regions. In addition, nrITS is also suggested as a potential plant barcode. Limited by the universality and resolvability of single barcoding region, five combinations of these regions are proposed. In this review, the advance of these barcoding regions, both their universality of primers and resolving power are reviewed. The advantages, standards, workflow and existent dispute of DNA barcoding are summarized.

Key words: DNA barcoding, species identification, analysis methods, barcoding evaluation