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Bamboo tea: reduction of taxonomic complexity and application of DNA diagnostics based on rbcL and matk sequence data

Horn, Thomas; Häser, Annette



Abstract (englisch): Background Names used in ingredient lists of food products are trivial and in their nature rarely precise. The most recent scientific interpretation of the term bamboo (Bambusoideae, Poaceae) comprises over 1,600 distinct species. In the European Union only few of these exotic species are well known sources for food ingredients (i.e., bamboo sprouts) and are thus not considered novel foods, which would require safety assessments before marketing of corresponding products. In contrast, the use of bamboo leaves and their taxonomic origin is mostly unclear. However, products containing bamboo leaves are currently marketed. Methods We analysed bamboo species and tea products containing bamboo leaves using anatomical leaf characters and DNA sequence data. To reduce taxonomic complexity associated with the term bamboo, we used a phylogenetic framework to trace the origin of DNA from commercially available bamboo leaves within the bambusoid subfamily. For authentication purposes, we introduced a simple PCR based test distinguishing genuine bamboo from other leaf components and assessed the diagnostic potential of rbcL and matK to resolve taxonomic entities within the bamboo subfamily and tribes. Results Based on anatomical and DNA data we were able to trace the taxonomic origin of bamboo leaves used in products to the genera Phyllostachys and Pseudosasa from the temperate “woody” bamboo tribe (Arundinarieae). Currently available rbcL and matK sequence data allow the character based diagnosis of 80% of represented bamboo genera. We detected adulteration by carnation in four of eight tea products and, after adapting our objectives, could trace the taxonomic origin of the adulterant to Dianthus chinensis (Caryophyllaceae), a well known traditional Chinese medicine with counter indications for pregnant women.


Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Botanisches Institut und Botanischer Garten (BOTANIK)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2781
ISSN: 2167-8359
URN: urn:nbn:de:swb:90-657301
KITopen ID: 1000065730
Erschienen in PeerJ
Band 4
Seiten e2781
Lizenz CC BY 4.0: Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Schlagworte Food diagnostics, Food fraud, Bambusoideae, Bamboo, Consumer rights, DNA diagnostics, Herbal tea, Phylogenetics, Microscopy, PCR diagnostics
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