A team of researchers from the botany department of the Chattogram University (CU) has completed the DNA barcoding by unveiling the genome sequences of 19 medicinal plants.
The DNA barcoding was done by collecting samples from different places in Chattogram.
Most of the 19 plants have been barcoded for the first time with financial support from the Chattogram University Research and Publication Centre.
The researchers have also claimed that it is possible to easily, very quickly, and accurately identify any medicinal plant through the DNA barcoding system.
In this way, it is possible to build a well-developed marketing system nationally and internationally by identifying the right herbal plants and preventing the adulteration of herbs. All property rights of the medicinal plants will be preserved for Bangladesh.
CU Professor Sheikh Bakhtiyar Uddin, Associate Professor Mohammad Omar Farooq Rusel, botany students Khalid Mushwan and ShahidulHasanShakil led the whole research work.
Besides, Professor Dr AMAM Junaid Siddiqui, of Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, has collaborated directly throughout the research.
The research has been completed in the Ethnobotany and Pharmacognosy Lab of the botany department at the University of Chattogram and the Molecular Biology Lab of the University of Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences.
Contracted, Professor Sheikh Bakhtiyar Uddin said that most of the barcoded plants are endemic species. Samples have been collected from Hazarikhil Sanctuary of FatikchhariUpazila of Chattogram, Dhopachhari Wildlife Sanctuary of ChandanaishUpazila and various forests of BandarbanSadarUpazila.
The 19 barcoded plant species are Mussaendaroxburghii, Maesaindica, Pouzolziahirta, Dalbergiavolubilis, Homalomena aromatic, Xyliadolabriformis, Ludwigiaadscendens, Tetrastigmaleucostaphylum, Byttneriapilosa, Floscopascandens, Firmianacolorata, Macarangapeltata, Eranthemumpulchellum , Gardenia latifolia, Swintonia floribunda, Artocarpuslakoocha, Premnaesculenta, Pileamelastomoides and Jasminumsp which have not been barcoded from Bangladesh before.
The research team has already submitted 41 sequences of three genes of 19 plant species to the Gene Bank Database of the National Library of Medicine in the United States.
Most of the submitted sequences have already been accepted for storage.
Professor Sheikh Bakhtiyar Uddin added that the main objective of the research was to create a database by barcoding the DNA of different species of plants which would play an important role in identifying, isolating and classifying plants.
The researchers hope that this DNA barcode will be a milestone for the sector in the future and will inspire all concerned to do more research. Besides, this barcode will play an important role in creating barcode databases and mobile apps called DNA barcode scanners to identify medicinal plants.
The researchers have also claimed that if the necessary financial and technical support is ensured, they are ready to barcode the DNA of 1,500 plants in phases.
According to the International Barcode of Life Association, there are 10-100 million species in the world but less than 2 million species have been identified and known based on external and other characteristics alone.
There are more than 5,000 vascular plant species in Bangladesh and about 1,500 of them are medicinal plants that are preserved in two databases published by Ethnobotany and Pharmacognosy Lab of the Department of Botany at the University of Chattogram.