The Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains encompass two global biodiversity hotspots with high levels of biodiversity and endemism. This area is one of the diversification centres of the genus Rhododendron, which is recognized as one of the most taxonomically challenging plant taxa due to recent adaptive radiations and rampant hybridization. In this study, four DNA barcodes were evaluated on 531 samples representing 173 species of seven sections of four subgenera in Rhododendron, with a high sampling density from the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains employing three analytical methods. The varied approaches (nj, pwg and blast) had different species identification powers with blast performing best. With the pwg analysis, the discrimination rates for single barcodes varied from 12.21% to 25.19% with ITS
Large-scale Scientific Facilities of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [2009-LSFGBOWS-01]
; Key Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [KJZD-EW-L07, KSCX2-EW-Z-2, KSCX2-EW-Q-10]
; Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China [2012FY110800]
; China Scholarship Council
; Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services division (RE-SAS) in the Scottish Government.