Identification of eight Panicum species in Riverina region of NSW using DNA sequence analysis

Yuchi Chen, Xiaocheng Zhu, David Albrecht, Panayiotis Loukopoulos, Jane Quinn, Leslie Weston

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Australia has over 30 Panicum spp. (panic grass) including several non-native species that cause crop and pasture loss due to competition. To develop appropriate management strategies for each species, it is critical to correctly identify panic grass species encountered. Currently, panic grass identification relies on microscopic examination of the inflorescence and spikelets, an approach that is only useful for flowering specimens and requires significant taxonomic expertise. To overcome this limitation, we applied both morphological and molecular techniques for identification of Panicum spp. in the Riverina region of New South Wales. We identified three molecular markers: one nuclear gene region (ITS) and two chloroplast gene regions (matK and trnL intron-trnF) capable of differentiating eight Panicum spp. Concatenation of sequences from ITS, matK and trnL intron-trnF gene regions provided clear separation of eight species collected regionally and identified a maximum intraspecific distance of 0.22% and minimum interspecific distance of 0.33%. Based on comparison with verified voucher specimens, P. hillmanii Chase was prevalent and constituted 78.9% of all samples collected and identified. DNA barcoding represents an accurate and potentially cost effective tool for distinguishing Panicum spp. at the species level regardless of growth stage. Molecular markers may also be useful for accurate demographic analysis of Panicum grass invasion in Australia and abroad
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Australian Weeds Conference
Subtitle of host publicationWeed Biosecurity - Protecting Our Future
EditorsStephen Johnson, Leslie Weston, Hanwen Wu, Bruce Auld
PublisherWeed Society of NSW
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780995415911
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event21st Australasian Weeds Conference (2018) - Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 09 Sep 201813 Sep 2018 (conference proceedings) (conference program)


Conference21st Australasian Weeds Conference (2018)
Abbreviated titleWeed biosecurity - Protecting our future
OtherThe Weed Society of New South Wales Inc., on behalf of the Council of Australasian Weed Societies Inc., will be hosting the 21st Australasian Weeds Conference in the popular Sydney beach side suburb of Manly from 9 - 12 September 2018.  An assortment of field trips will be hosted on Thursday 13 September 2018.
This biennial conference carries on a long tradition of bringing the weed management community together to discuss new developments and share information about cutting-edge and best weed management practices.
The conference attracts over 250 delegates from across Australasia and globally.  Delegates will come together to network with peers, engage with industry sponsors, listen and participate in presentations and field trips on a variety of topics including; 
- New technologies in weed management.
- Biological, mechanical, and chemical weed control and research.
- Herbicide resistance.
- Weeds of crops and pastures.
- Environmental weeds and Weeds of National Significance.
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