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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Polymorphism analysis of Fagaceae and DNA-based identification ofFagus species grown in Japan based on therbcL gene


Fagaceae species in Japan were identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence comparison of a region ofrbcL. Of nine restriction endonucleases used for digestion, three (MspI,RsaI,HaeIII) produced different restriction patterns in Fagaceae. Digestion byMspI yielded four patterns: Fagus species,Castanea crenata, Pasania glabra, and others. Digestion byRsaI andHaeIII afforded two patterns:Fagus species and others. These facts indicate thatCastanea crenata andPasania glabra can be identified byMspI restriction patterns ofrbcL. Sequence comparison of a region of therbcL gene among 20 species of Fagaceae showed that: (1) they could be divided into seven groups; (2) there is a site mutation betweenFagus crenata andF. japonica. The latter indicates that the wood of both Fagus species are identifiable at the species level, which is not the case using conventional methods. This result indicates the possibility of wood identification based on DNA polymorphism in Fagaceae at the intrageneric level.


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Ohyama, M., Baba, K., Itoh, T. et al. Polymorphism analysis of Fagaceae and DNA-based identification ofFagus species grown in Japan based on therbcL gene. J Wood Sci 45, 183–187 (1999).

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Key words

  • Wood identification
  • Fagaceae
  • rbcL