Quantification of Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh) from some of its potential adulterants using qPCR and dPCR methods

Scientific Reports, Vol. 11 (2021)

Keywords
Authors
  • Jeevitha Shanmughanandhan
  • NHP Research Alliance, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Dhivya Shanmughanandhan
  • NHP Research Alliance, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Subramanyam Ragupathy
  • NHP Research Alliance, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Thomas A. Henry
  • NHP Research Alliance, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Steven G. Newmaster
  • NHP Research Alliance, College of Biological Sciences, University of Guelph

Abstract

Abstract The demand for popular natural health products (NHPs) such as Black Cohosh is increasing considerably, which in turn challenges quality assurance (QA) throughout the supply chain. To detect and quantify the target species present in a given NHP, DNA-based molecular techniques such as Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and digital PCR (dPCR) are standard tools in the food and pathogen testing industries. There is a gap in the literature concerning validated quantitative PCR methods for botanicals that can be utilized for QA and good manufacturing practices. The objective of this study is to develop an efficient quantification method using qPCR and dPCR techniques for the detection and quantification of Actaea racemosa (Black cohosh) NHPs from its potential adulterants. These developed methods are validated for applicability on commercial NHPs. Species-specific hydrolysis probe assays were designed to analyze the black cohosh NHPs using qPCR and dPCR techniques. The results confirmed that the developed qPCR and dPCR methods are highly precise for identifying and quantifying black cohosh NHPs, indicating their potential applicability in future routine industrial and laboratory testing. This enables a single qPCR test to determine not only the presence of a specific botanical, but also the amount when mixed with an adulterant.

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