Explicating genetic diversity based on ITS characterization and determination of antioxidant potential in sea buckthorn (Hippophae spp.)

Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Jun;49(6):5229-5240. doi: 10.1007/s11033-021-06619-z. Epub 2021 Aug 13.


Background: Sea buckthorn (Hippophae) is in the focus of interest mainly for its positive effects on health of both human and animal organisms. Due to the similarities in vegetative morphology, Hippophae species are often misidentified. Therefore, current study was focused on ITS based sequence characterization of sea buckthorn species and comparative biochemical evaluation for its antioxidant properties.

Methods and results: DNA was extracted from leaf samples. Primer pairs K-Lab-SeaBukRhm-ITS1F1- K-Lab-SeaBukRhm-ITS1R1 and K-LabSeaBukTib- ITSF1- K-LabSeaBukTib-ITSR1 were used for PCR amplification. The purified PCR products were outsourced for sequencing. Phylogenetic tree was constructed based on neighbor-joining (NJ) method. Moreover, comparison of antioxidant potential of leaves of two sea buckthorn species (Hippophae rhamnoides and Hippophae tibetana) collected from different regions of Ladakh viz., Stakna, Nubra, DRDO Leh and Zanskar was determined by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2-azino-bis (3- ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS), and Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) by phosphomolybdenum assays. The present investigation led to the differentiation of two sea buckthorn species viz., H. rhamnoides and H. tibetana based on Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region. Moreover, significant variation was observed in antioxidant potential of leaf extracts collected from different regions.

Conclusions: Primary ITS sequence analysis was found to be powerful tool for identification and genetic diversity studies in sea buckthorn. Leaves of sea buckthorn have pronounced antioxidant properties and can be used in food, neutraceuticals and pharmaceutical industries etc. The current study will pave the way to discover small bioactive molecules responsible for antioxidant and anticancer properties in sea buckthorn.

Keywords: ABTS; Bioautography; DNA barcoding; DPPH; Hippophae; ITS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hippophae* / chemistry
  • Hippophae* / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts