Fagaceae species in Japan were identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence comparison of a region of rbcL. Of nine restriction endonucleases used for digestion, three (MspI, RsaI, HaeIII) produced different restriction patterns in Fagaceae. Digestion by MspI yielded four patterns: Fagus species, Castanea crenata, Pasania glabra, and others. Digestion by RsaI and HaeIII afforded two patterns: Fagus species and others. These facts indicate that Castanea crenata and Pasania glabra can be identified by MspI restriction patterns of rbcL. Sequence comparison of a region of the rbcL gene among 20 species of Fagaceae showed that: (1) they could be divided into seven groups; (2) there is a site mutation between Fagus crenata and F. 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.
- Wood identification
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