Studies on Cultivated Ephedra Plants in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

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Abstract

Progression of the desertification in northern China has been causing damage to wild <i>Ephedra</i> plants on which we depend for most of supply of the traditional herbal medicine, “Ma huang.” The Chinese government encourages the cultivation of <i>Ephedra</i> plants, and <i>Ephedra</i> fields have been reclaimed in the original <i>Ephedra </i>habitats in recent years. We surveyed 7 <i>Ephedra</i> fields that have been recently developed in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to collect information on <i>Ephedra</i> plant cultivation, especially pertaining to crop species. Specimens taken from those <i>Ephedra</i> fields were genetically and morphologically analyzed, and their ephedrine alkaloid content was examined. DNA analyses of <i>Ephedra</i> specimens, including DNA sequencing of ITS (internal transcribing sequence of nuclear ribosomal DNA) and <i>trn L/F</i> (intron of <i>trn</i>L and intergenic spacer between the <i>trn</i>L and <i>trn</i>F of chloroplast DNA) region and species-specific amplification of<i> trn L/F</i> were conducted to identify <i>Ephedra</i> species. Based on the results of DNA sequencing and morphological determination, the crops grown in 6 fields ware identified as <i>Ephedra sinica</i>, while co-planting of <i>E. sinica</i> and <i>E. intermedia</i> was found in one field where a higher appearance rate of plants with varied morphology from wild <i>Ephedra</i> plants was observed. Furthermore, direct sequencing of the PCR product of the <i>trn L/F</i> region of some specimens from the field and their species-specific PCR showed ambivalent result. Cloning and sequencing of the PCR product of the <i>trn L/F</i> region of those specimens DNA suggested their heteroplasmy, containing both <i>E. sinica</i>- and <i>E. intermedia</i>-type chloroplasts. On the other hand, the profile of the ephedrine alkaloid content was clearly correlated with the result of direct sequencing of the <i>trn L/F</i> region; the specimens showing the <i>E. sinica</i>-type sequence contained more ephedrine than pseudoephedrine, and the specimens of the <i>E. intermedia</i>-type more pseudoephedrine.

Journal

  • Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin

    Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 29(4), 746-749, 2006-04-01

    The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan

References:  7

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110005602179
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AA10885497
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    ART
  • ISSN
    09186158
  • NDL Article ID
    7861750
  • NDL Source Classification
    ZS51(科学技術--薬学)
  • NDL Call No.
    Z53-V41
  • Data Source
    CJP  NDL  NII-ELS  J-STAGE 
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