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Research unit
FSVO
Project number
3.20.01
Project title
A molecular passport for the rosewoods of Madagascar

Texts for this project

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Key words
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Short description
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Project aims
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Publications / Results
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CategoryText
Key words
(German)

DNA Analyse, forensische Holzidentifikation, gefährdete Arten, Madagaskar, Massenspektrometrie, molekularer Fingerabruck, Nahinfrarotspektroskopie, Rosenholz

Key words
(English)

DNA analysis, endangered species, forensic timber identification, Madagascar, mass spectrometry, molecular fingerprint, near-infrared spectroscopy, rosewood

Short description
(German)
Arten sind die grundlegende Einheit in Naturschutz, Gesetzgebung und internationaler Handelsregulierung. Für den Artenschutz ist deshalb eine schnelle und zuverlässige Artbestimmung essentiell. Madagassische Rosenhölzer sind eine Gruppe wertvoller Tropenhölzer, deren Überleben durch illegale Abholzung bedroht ist. Die Einschränkung des illegalen Handels wird durch die schwierige Art- und Herkunftsbestimmung geschlagener Stämme stark erschwert. Darüber hinaus ist die Identifizierung lebender Bäume erforderlich, um die Verbreitung von Arten, deren Populationsstatus und Entwicklung zu beurteilen. Dies ist derzeit aber praktisch unmöglich, wenn die Bäume nicht blühen oder Früchte tragen. Um diese Probleme anzugehen, haben wir eine umfangreiche Referenzsammlung und DNA-Sequenzdatenbank aufgebaut. Unser Ziel ist es, diese einzigartigen Ressourcen zu nutzen um durch zwei komplementäre Methoden molekulare Fingerabdrücke zu entwickeln, Datenbanken aufzubauen und eine benutzerfreundliche Anwendung für die Identifizierung von madagassischen Rosenhölzern zu entwickeln
Short description
(English)

Species are the fundamental unit in conservation action, legislation and international trade regulation. For effective species conservation, rapid and reliable identification to species is essential. Malagasy rosewoods are a highly prized source of tropical timber. Massive illegal logging threatens the survival of many populations and species, but attempts to halt illegal logging and trade are compromised by the inability to identify logs and cut wood and determine their geographic origin. Moreover, accurate identification of standing trees is required to assess species distributions, population status and trends, but is currently all but impossible when trees are not flowering or fruiting. To address these problems we have established an extensive reference collection and DNA sequence database of Malagasy rosewoods. We propose to use these unique resources to develop molecular fingerprints based on DNA typing and Mass Spectrometry (MS), build dedicated databases, and establish a user-friendly application for the molecular identification of Malagasy rosewoods.

Project aims
(English)

The key objective of this project is to leverage and expand the value of our unique reference collection and the international collaborative network working on Malagasy Dalbergia to develop and validate a molecular passport for all Malagasy species, which will enable the rapid and reliable identification of standing trees, logs and sawn wood to botanical species. The second objective is to adapt these methods to the needs and technical capacities of our Malagasy partners to foster capacity building and implementation of identification methods in the source country. The applications that will be developed are a fundamental prerequisite for conservation, sustainable management and international trade control of Dalbergia species from Madagascar and thus contribute directly to the implementation of existing CITES regulations.

In this project, we specifically propose to develop molecular fingerprints based on the analysis of (i) DNA variation and (ii) wood chemical composition; (iii) build reference databases containing the results of these methods, and (iv) develop software applications that query these databases for rapid, accurate identification of Malagasy Dalbergia species.

We will combine the analysis of DNA variation and wood chemical composition because these methods are complementary with regard to sample (tissue) types (leaves of standing trees or herbarium (type) specimens vs. heartwood) and have the potential to provide resolution at the level of species, the fundamental biological unit for regulation and conservation.

Publications / Results
(German)
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URL-addresses
(German)