• randomly amplified polymorphism DNA (RAPD);
  • ecological factors;
  • dauricine;
  • Menispermum dauricum


The aim of the present work was to determine whether dauricine could be used as a taxonomic marker for Menispermum dauricum DC., and to explore the correlation among RAPD, ecological markers and chemical markers. To this end, the chemical and genetic differences of 173 individual samples of M. dauricum from nine different sources were studied based on the relevant ecological factors including longitude, latitude, annual precipitation, mean temperature, annual accumulated temperature and mean sea level. The contents of dauricine in the sample rhizomes were assayed by HPLC with photodiode array detection. The leaves from the same sample were assayed using randomly amplified polymorphism DNA (RAPD). The genetic distances were then compared. Hierarchical cluster analysis and multiple linear stepwise regression analysis were used in the statistical analysis. The results indicated that the contents of dauricine were respectively correlated with the genetic distance (r = 1.000), longitude (r = 0.849), latitude (r = 0.861), annual precipitation (r = 0.903), mean temperature(r = 0.912), annual accumulated temperature (r = 0.919) and mean sea level (r = 0.925). It is concluded that the content of dauricine in M. dauricum is significantly correlated with genetic distance and ecological factors, and may be used as the taxonomic marker. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.