The mitochondrial DNA markers for distinguishing Phalaenopsis species and revealing maternal phylogeny

B. Y. Lin, C. D. Chang, L. L.H. Huang, Y. C. Liu, Y. Y. Su, T. C. Chen, R. H. Lee, H. J. Huang, W. L. Wu, C. C. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) are among the top-traded blooming potted plants in the world. To explore mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers for species identification, we located simple sequence repeats in the mtDNA of Phalaenopsis aphrodite subsp. formosana and then pre-screened them for polymorphic markers by their comparison with corresponding mtDNA regions of P. equestris. The combination of 13 selected markers located in intergenic spacers could unambiguously distinguish 15 endemic moth orchids. Five most variable markers with polymorphic information content (PIC) ≥ 0.7 could be combined to classify 18 of 19 endemic moth orchids including parental strains most commonly used in breeding programs. The sequences of four selected mtDNA regions were highly variable, and one region (MT2) could be used to completely distinguish 19 endemic moth orchids. Though mitochondrial introns were highly conserved among moth orchids, evolutionary hotspots, such as variable simple sequence repeats and minisatellite repeats, were identified as useful markers. Furthermore, a marker technology was applied to reveal the maternal inheritance mode of mtDNA in the moth orchids. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis indicates that the mtDNA was nonmonophyletic below the Phalaenopsis genus. In summary, we have revealed a set of mtDNA markers that could be used for identification and phylogenetic study of Phalaenopsis orchids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalBiologia Plantarum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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