What is it about?

Accurate identification of species from timber is an essential step to help control illegal logging and forest loss. Here we constructed a comprehensive barcode library using four commonly used barcodes (rbcL, matK, trnH–psbA, and ITS2), representing 1,550 commercially traded timber species (656 genera across 124 families) from China and internationally.

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Why is it important?

The database includes many novel sequences that will enrich existing timber barcode databases for tropical and subtropical evergreen timber trees in China. The development of timber species barcode reference libraries provides a valuable source for several applications, including forestry management and policing, ecological investigations, and biodiversity conservation.


Although DNA barcoding was not able to identify all individuals to species level identification in the study, in many cases it can provide supporting evidence incorporated with routine identification methods. The establishment of a reliable timber species barcode identification system will require further taxonomic and phylogenetic research to resolve species complexes, and it is vital that reference databases are updated regularly to keep pace with taxonomic revisions to reduce and correct misidentifications.

Jianlin Hu

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Assessing candidate DNA barcodes for Chinese and internationally traded timber species, Molecular Ecology Resources, November 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.13546.
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