Chinese Researchers have established a DNA database for all 15 species of Taxus chinensis, commonly known as Chinese yew, an evergreen shrub or tree.
Since the 1990s, over exploitation has led to sharp drop in the number of wild Chinese yew. In some areas, the plants are extinct. They are under first-grade state protection in China, said LIU Jie, associate professor at Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Researchers at the institute established a comprehensive DNA barcode reference library for all 15 taxus species, with precise distribution data.
"DNA barcodes can be used to ascertain the identities of plants. Distribution map data and the integrated species identification system can be used for bio-surveillance, conservation management and to monitor and prosecute illegal traders," LIU said.
The results were published in the Molecular Ecology Resources. (Xinhua)
Fig.1 The applicable workflow for species identification of unknown Taxus samples using the DNA barcode libraries and reference map generated in this study. (Image by KIB)