Hellbori nigri rhizoma is a drug that is difficult to distinguish from other species of the genus Helleborus. In this communication we present a DNA-based identification by high-resolution melting analysis (HRM) that is able to differentiate between Helleborus niger and other species of the genus. HRM is a very specific, time- and labour-saving method for identifying DNA sequence variations and is ideally suitable for routine PCR analysis. The HRM assay developed is specific for the genus Helleborus. This method not only detects the presence of the target species H. niger but also, to a certain extent, identifies other Helleborus species by their different melting curve shapes. Markers were developed based on the trnL-trnF intergenic spacer and on the matK sequence. For an unambiguous identification of Helleborus niger, melting curves of both markers should be used.
Base Sequence DNA, Intergenic DNA, Plant* Drug Contamination/prevention & control* Freezing Genes, Plant Genetic Markers Genetic Variation* Helleborus/genetics* Plants, Medicinal Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods* Species Specificity