Floragenex and the German Thünen Institute have announced a collaboration to better understand the genomes of trees in Africa and Asia. Under the agreement, Floragenex will use Restriction site Associated DNA (RAD) sequencing technology in conjunction with the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform to identify natural genetic variation in five distinct species of trees distributed in a geographic range across Africa and Central Asia.
Genomic DNA for selected Iroko, Sapeli, Ayous, Sibirian larch, and Mongolian oak trees will be provided by the Thünen Centre of Competence on Timber Origin and sent to Floragenex laboratories for RAD library processing, sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of genomic data. The so generated genomic information will be used by the Thünen Institute to develop gene markers to identify species and to control the geographic origin of timber. The gene markers will be applied by Thünen as re-enforcement tools to control the timber trade and to reduce illegal logging.
“We are pleased to continue our long-running relationship with the Thünen Institute and advance genomics efforts in these important and understudied tree species” said Floragenex President Rick Nipper. “Floragenex’s commitment to work in ecological and conservation genomics is a key mission of our business and we look forward to providing the Thünen Institute with substantial genomic resources for both future basic and applied research.” “It is a great opportunity to work together with Floragenex”, said the Director of the Thünen-Institute of Forest Genetics, Bernd Degen. “The genomic data produced by the RAD approach of Floragenex will offer a massive amount of gene markers for our timber tracking projects”.
Oregon-based Floragenex is a privately owned biotechnology company providing innovative solutions for genomic analysis in human, plant and animal systems. Since 2007, Floragenex has delivered impact results in hundreds of genomics studies focused on answering fundamental questions in genetics, ecology, evolutionary biology and biomedical research. With multiple offices located on the US Pacific coast, Floragenex technologies permit investigation of genomes at unprecedented levels for academic, governmental and commercial researchers worldwide.
About the Thünen Institute
The German Thünen Institute conducts interdisciplinary research targeted at the sustainable development of agricultural, forestry and wood production as well as fisheries. The work encompasses economic, ecological and technological aspects. As a federal research centre consisting of 15 specialised institutes, it develops scientific basics as decision-making for the German government. Within the Thünen Institute, the Thünen Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber is the central contact facility for government agencies, timber trade, consumers and associations to verify the species of wood and/or wood products and its origin in Germany. The Centre combines the analytical expertise and competence of the four Thünen institutes of Wood Research, Forest Genetics, World Forestry and Forest Economics responsible for wood identification, proof of origin, certification and timber trade structures.