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DNA barcode and identification of the varieties and provenances of Taiwan's domestic and imported made teas using ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 sequences


The major aim of made tea identification is to identify the variety and provenance of the tea plant. The present experiment used 113 tea plants [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] housed at the Tea Research and Extension Substation, from which 113 internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) fragments, 104 trnL intron, and 98 trnL-trnF intergenic sequence region DNA sequences were successfully sequenced. The similarity of the ITS2 nucleotide sequences between tea plants housed at the Tea Research and Extension Substation was 0.379–0.994. In this polymerase chain reaction-amplified noncoding region, no varieties possessed identical sequences. Compared with the trnL intron and trnL-trnF intergenic sequence fragments of chloroplast cpDNA, the proportion of ITS2 nucleotide sequence variation was large and is more suitable for establishing a DNA barcode database to identify tea plant varieties. After establishing the database, 30 imported teas and 35 domestic made teas were used in this model system to explore the feasibility of using ITS2 sequences to identify the varieties and provenances of made teas. A phylogenetic tree was constructed using ITS2 sequences with the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean, which indicated that the same variety of tea plant is likely to be successfully categorized into one cluster, but contamination from other tea plants was also detected. This result provides molecular evidence that the similarity between important tea varieties in Taiwan remains high. We suggest a direct, wide collection of made tea and original samples of tea plants to establish an ITS2 sequence molecular barcode identification database to identify the varieties and provenances of tea plants. The DNA barcode comparison method can satisfy the need for a rapid, low-cost, frontline differentiation of the large amount of made teas from Taiwan and abroad, and can provide molecular evidence of their varieties and provenances. © 2016

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.