Secretariat Großhansdorf

Irene Joraszik

Sieker Landstraße 2
22927 Großhansdorf
Phone: +49 4102 696 0
Fax: +49 4102 696 200

Secretariat Waldsieversdorf

Rosi Adler

Eberswalder Chaussee 3a
15377 Waldsieversdorf
Phone: +49 33433 157 0
Fax: +49 33433 157 199

Large scale project on genetic timber verification



Large scale project on genetic timber verification

New large project on the development of genetic reference data to identify timber origin

Background and Objective

Since 1st October 2014 the Institute is coordinating the new “Large scale project on genetic timber verification (LargeScale Project).” The objective of the project is to develop genetic reference data to assign the country of origin for seven tree species in Africa and for seven tree species in Latin America. Further the projects supports with additional equipment and by training the genetic lab at the „Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)“ in Kumasi and the lab of the „Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP)“ in Iquitos Peru. The project has a duration of 39 months and a total budget of 3.6 million Euros. It is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in frame of the programm “International sustuianable forestry”. Partners from eight African countries and four Latin American countries participate at the project (map).


In the next 40 months we want to develop genetic reference data to check the country of origin for timber of 20 high priority species in Africa (10 species) and Latin America (10 species). This will be realised in frame of bilateral projects among the Thünen-Institut and institutions in 11 timber producing countries. A preference will be given to institutes to which already co-operation projects exist. As in other projects the technology transfer and the capacity building will be an important element of these bi-lateral co-operation projects. The goal is to support with equipment and training five reference labs (three in Africa, two in Latin America).

This work covers part of the regions and tree species identified as priority by the Global Timber Tracking Network (GTTN). The genetic reference data will be implemented into the data base of the GTTN. For another set of priority species and regions a complementary project is in preparation co-ordinated by Andrew Lowe (University of Adelaide) searching for financial support from Australia and international donors.

Structure / workpackages

The Thünen –Institute will be responsible for the genetic screening and the co-ordination of the overall initiatives as a framework of bi-lateral projects. The framework has 4 different work packages (WP):

  • WP Sampling
  • WP Genetic Screening
  • WP Technology Transfer
  • WP Co-ordination


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


10.2014 - 12.2018

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


hits: 8

  1. Mader M, Pakull B, Blanc-Jolivet C, Paulini-Drewes M, Bouda ZH-N, Degen B, Small I, Kersten B (2018) Complete chloroplast genome sequences of four Meliaceae species and comparative analyses. Int J Mol Sci 19(3):701, DOI:10.3390/ijms19030701
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 2170 kb
  2. Blanc-Jolivet C, Kersten B, Bourland N, Guichoux E, Delcamp A, Doucet J-L, Degen B (2018) Development of nuclear SNP markers for the timber tracking of the African tree species Sapelli, Entandrophragma cylindricum. Conserv Genet Resources 10(3):539-541, DOI:10.1007/s12686-017-0872-4
  3. Degen B, Blanc-Jolivet C, Stierand K, Gillet E (2017) A nearest neighbour approach by genetic distance to the assignment of individual trees to geographic origin. Forensic Sci Int Genetics 27:132-141, DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2016.12.011
  4. Blanc-Jolivet C, Kersten B, Dainou K, Hardy OJ, Guichoux E, Delcamp A, Degen B (2017) Development of nuclear SNP markers for genetic tracking for Iroko, Milicia excelsa and Milicia regia. Conserv Genet Resources 9(4):531-533, DOI:10.1007/s12686-017-0716-2
  5. Dainou K, Flot J-F, Degen B, Blanc-Jolivet C, Doucet J-L, Lassois L, Hardy OJ (2017) DNA taxonomy in the timber genus Milicia: evidence of unidirectional introgression in the West African contact zone. Tree Genetics Genomes 13(90):in Press, DOI:10.1007/s11295-017-1174-4
  6. Pakull B, Mader M, Kersten B, Ekue MR, Bouka Dipelet UG, Paulini M, Bouda ZH-N, Degen B (2016) Development of nuclear, chloroplast and mitochondrial SNP markers for Khaya sp.. Conserv Genet Resources 8(3):293-297, DOI:10.1007/s12686-016-0557-4
  7. Dormontt EE, Boner M, Braun B, Breulmann G, Degen B, Espinoza E, Gardner S, Guillery P, Hermanson JC, Koch G, Lee SL, Kanashiro M, Rimbawanto A, Thomas D, Wiedenhoeft AC, Yin Y, Zahnen J (2015) Forensic timber identification: it's time to integrate disciplines to combat illegal logging. Biol Conserv 191:790-798, DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.06.038
  8. Degen B, Sebbenn AM (2014) Genetics and tropical forests. In: Pancel L, Köhl M (eds) Tropical forestry handbook. Berlin: Springer, pp 1-30, DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-41554-8_75-1