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DNA-based identification of white oak species and geographic origin (DBU)


DNA-based identification of white oak's species and geographic origin (section Quercus)

Innovative DNA-based methods are important tools in the international efforts against illegal logging and trading of wood which happens also in the temperate geographic regions. Also the very valuable wood of white oaks (section Quercus) is affected by this problem.

Background and Objective

On 3 March 2013, an EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into effect to stop the circulation of illegally logged wood in the European Union. This new law together with the high market share of white oaks led to an increasing demand for a clear identification of species and geographic origin of white oaks and related wood products. To meet this aim, molecular markers for species and origin identification of white oaks will be developed in this project.


To reach the aim, the following milestones will be realized in the project: (i) Development of molecular markers for the differentiation of white oak species and geographic origin, (ii) Establishment of genetic reference data to monitor the geographic origin of selected white oak species, (iii) Technology transfer, gene test as audits to certify the trade chains (chain of custody).

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Bashkir State University
    (Ufa, Russische Föderation)
  • USDA Forest Service
    (Corvallis, Washington D.C., Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika)
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
    (Ufa, Russische Föderation)
  • Chinese Academy of Forestry
    (Peking, Volksrepublik China)
  • Korean Forest Research Institute (KFRI)
    (Seoul, Republik Korea)
  • Plant Genetic Diagnostics GmbH
    (Großhansdorf, Deutschland)

Funding Body

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


10.2014 - 3.2017

More Information

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

    Schröder H, Yanbaev YA, Kersten B, Degen B (2019) Short note: Development of a new set of SNP markers to measure genetic diversity and genetic differentiation of Mongolian oak (Quercus mon­golica Fisch. ex Ledeb.) in the Far East of Russia. Silvae Genetica 68(1):85-91, DOI:10.2478/sg-2019-0016

  3. 2

    Schröder H, Kersten B, Yanbaev YA, Degen B (2018) DNA-marker sets for determination of white oaks (section Quercus) in wood products. Thünen Rep 62:107-112

  4. 3

    Schröder H, Degen B (2018) Einsatz molekularer Marker zur Art- und Herkunftsbestimmung von Bäumen und Holz. Jb Baumpflege 22:261-266

  5. 4

    Schröder H, Kersten B, Degen B (2018) Herkunftsnachweis von Weißeichenproben innerhalb Europas. In: Ammer C, Bredemeier M, Arnim G von (eds) FowiTa : Forstwissenschaftliche Tagung 2018 Göttingen ; Programm & Abstracts ; 24. bis 26. September 2018. Göttingen: Univ Göttingen, Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie, p 285

  6. 5

    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

  7. 6

    Schröder H, Cronn R, Yanbaev YA, Jennings T, Mader M, Degen B, Kersten B (2016) Development of molecular markers for determining continental origin of wood from White Oaks (Quercus L. sect. Quercus). PLoS One 11(6):e0158221, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0158221

  8. 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

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