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© Bernd Degen
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Institute of

FG Forest Genetics



Development of genetic markers for the identification of genera and species in composite wood products using Next Generation DNA-Barcoding

Genetic marker sets for the detection of tree genera and species which are often used in composite wood products will be developed  and validated.

Background and Objective

Wood composite products such as particle boards are often composed of wood from several tree species. The DNA of the contained wood can be highly degraded, and the DNA quantity from single species can be low. For these reasons, the detection of illegally logged wood using existing methods is very difficult in such products. In the next three years the Thünen Institute of Forest Genetics in collaboration with the German Timber Trade Federation (GD Holz e.V.) will develop new genetic markers and robust analytical methods that allow the detection of several genera and related species of deciduous trees and conifers especially in such wood composite products. The focus is on the differentiation of frequently used genera, such as pines, Douglas fir, and bangkirai, among others.


The main tasks of the project are:

  1. Optimisation of protocols for DNA extraction from particle boards
  2. Whole genome sequencing (genome skimming) of  relevant deciduous trees and conifers using „Next Generation Sequencing“, bioinformatic data analysis and detection of SNPs and InDels for potential differentiation on different taxonomic levels
  3. Validation of potentially differentiating SNPs and InDels in an extended set of individuals
  4. Development of genetic marker sets and validation using wood composite products
  5. Application of the markers as audits in certified wood productis in colaboration with the FSC

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Gesamtverband Deutscher Holzhandel e.V. (GD Holz)
    (Berlin, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)
    (national, öffentlich)


4.2018 - 9.2022

More Information

Project funding number: 33949/01-31
Project status: finished


  1. 0

    Schröder H, Kersten B (2023) A small set of nuclear markers for reliable differentiation of the two closely related oak species Quercus robur and Q. petraea. Plants 12(3):566, DOI:10.3390/plants12030566

  2. 1

    Kersten B, Rellstab C, Gugerli F (2022) Abies alba isolate AA_WSL01 mitochondrion [...] [Datenpublikation] [online]. 11 scaffold sequences. Bethesda: NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 29.11.2022]

  3. 2

    Brügmann T, Fladung M, Schröder H (2022) Flexible DNA isolation procedure for different tree species as a convenient lab routine. Silvae Genetica 71:20-30, DOI:10.2478/sg-2022-0003

  4. 3

    Kersten B, Rellstab C, Schröder H, Brodbeck S, Fladung M, Krutovsky KV, Gugerli F (2022) The mitochondrial genome sequence of Abies alba Mill. reveals a high structural and combinatorial variation. BMC Genomics 23:776, DOI:10.1186/s12864-022-08993-9

  5. 4

    Kersten B, Schott T, Mader M (2020) Fagus sylvatica isolate FASYL_29_1 mitochondrion, complete genome [Datenpublikation] [online]. , zu finden in <> [zitiert am 02.10.2020]

  6. 5

    Mader M, Schröder H, Schott T, Schöning-Stierand K, Leite Montalvao AP, Liesebach H, Liesebach M, Fussi B, Kersten B (2020) Mitochondrial genome of Fagus sylvatica L. as a source for taxonomic marker development in the Fagales. Plants(9):1274, DOI:10.3390/plants9101274

  7. 6

    Mader M, Kersten B (2020) Mitochondrial genome of Fagus sylvatica L. as a source for taxonomic marker development in the Fagales [Datenpublikation] [online]. , zu finden in <> [zitiert am 02.10.2020]

  8. 7

    Mader M, Kersten B (2019) Fagus sylvatica chloroplast, complete genome [Datenpublikation] [online]. , zu finden in <> [zitiert am 14.05.2019]

  9. 8

    Brenner WG, Mader M, Müller NA, Hönicka H, Schröder H, Zorn I, Fladung M, Kersten B (2019) High level of conservation of mitochondrial RNA editing sites among four Populus species. G3 Genes Genomes Genetics 9:709-717, DOI:10.1534/g3.118.200763

  10. 9

    Schöning-Stierand K, Schröder H, Degen B, Kersten B (2019) Identification of tree species in wood composite products by DNA barcoding. Genome 62(6):431-432, DOI:10.1139/gen-2019-0083

  11. 10

    Schott T, Schröder H, Kersten B (2019) Pinus cembra voucher PICEM_1_1 chloroplast, complete genome [Datenpublikation] [online]. , zu finden in <> [zitiert am 26.11.2019]

  12. 11

    Mader M, Liesebach H, Liesebach M, Kersten B (2019) The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Fagus sylvatica L. (Fagaceae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B 4(1):1818-1819, DOI:10.1080/23802359.2019.1612712

  13. 12

    Schott T, Schröder H, Schöning-Stierand K, Kersten B (2019) The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Pinus cembra L. (Pinaceae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B 4(2):4202-4203, DOI:10.1080/23802359.2019.1693297

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