2022 Volume 72 Issue 2 Pages 181-187
Mentha is a complex genus encompassing many species as a consequence of their interspecific hybridization and polyploidy. Southeast Asian mints have been poorly distinguished though they are widely used for culinary and medical purposes. In this study, we have analyzed Southeast Asian mints and known varieties as well as a related Lamiaceae species (Nepeta sp.) using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and leaf morphology. Two types of mints were clearly distinguished based on their venation pattern and leaf shape index. We developed 12 SSR markers that allowed good amplification in the Mentha and another Lamiaceae species. In the SSR-based phylogram, the Mentha lines could be delimited into groups I–VI. The Southeast Asian mints divided into groups I and II, and the phylogram separated most of the available species, with groups I and II containing the known species M. × cordifolia and M. arvensis, respectively. The separation of the two groups was supported by a population structure analysis. The SSR markers developed in this study enabled the simultaneous classification of mints and will help improve our understanding of the genetic composition of known mint varieties and as yet unclassified Southeast Asian mints.