Universal barcoding regions, rbcL, matK and trnH-psbA do not discriminate Cinnamomum species in Sri Lanka.

Affiliation

Chandrasekara CHWMRB(1), Naranpanawa DNU(1)(2), Bandusekara BS(1)(3), Pushpakumara DKNG(4), Wijesundera DSA(5), Bandaranayake PCG(1).
Author information:
(1)Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
(2)Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
(3)Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
(4)Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
(5)National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Abstract

The genus Cinnamomum consists of about 250 species spread globally. Out of these, C. verum (C. zeylanicum), also known as true cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon, has gained worldwide attention due to its culinary uses and medicinal values. Sri Lanka is the largest true cinnamon producer in the world and accounts for about 80-90% of global production. Other than the cultivated species, Sri Lankan natural vegetation is home to seven endemic wild species of the genus Cinnamomum. While these are underutilized, proper identification and characterization are essential steps in any sustainable conservation and utilization strategies. Currently, species identification is purely based on morphological traits, and intraspecific diversity has made it more challenging. In this study, all the eight Cinnamomum species found in Sri Lanka, C. capparu-coronde, C. citriodorum C. dubium, C. litseifolium, C. ovalifolium, C. rivulorum, C. sinharajaense, and C. verum were collected in triplicates and identified using typical morphological traits. DNA extracted with the same collection was assessed with universal barcoding regions, rbcL, matK, and trnH-psbA. While no intraspecific sequence differences were observed in C. citriodorum, C. rivulorum, and C. verum, the others had polymorphic sites in one, two, or all regions assessed. Interestingly, two individuals of C. sinharajaense had identical barcodes to the cultivated species C. verum, while the other one had one variable cite in matK region and three cites in trnH-psbA reigon. Further, one C. dubium and one C. capparu-coronde accession each had identical, rbcL, and trnH-psbA sequences while those had only a single nucleotide variation observed in matK region. Overall, the phylogeny of Cinnamomum species found in Sri Lanka could not be completely resolved with DNA barcoding regions studied.