DNA Barcode Authentication and Library Development for the Wood of Six Commercial Pterocarpus Species: the Critical Role of Xylarium Specimens

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Jiao, Lichao
Yu, Min
Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.
He, Tuo
Li, Jianing
Liu, Bo
Jiang, Xiaomei
Yin, Yafang

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Nature Publishing Group


DNA barcoding has been proposed as a useful tool for forensic wood identification and development of a reliable DNA reference library is an essential first step. Xylaria (wood collections) are potentially enormous data repositories if DNA information could be extracted from wood specimens. In this study, 31 xylarium wood specimens and 8 leaf specimens of six important commercial species of Pterocarpus were selected to investigate the reliability of DNA barcodes for authentication at the species level and to determine the feasibility of building wood DNA barcode reference libraries from xylarium specimens. Four DNA barcodes (ITS2, matK, ndhF-rpl32 and rbcL) and their combination were tested to evaluate their discrimination ability for Pterocarpus species with both TaxonDNA and tree-based analytical methods. The results indicated that the combination barcode of matK + ndhF-rpl32 + ITS2 yielded the best discrimination for the Pterocarpus species studied. The mini-barcode ndhF-rpl32 (167-173 bps) performed well distinguishing P. santalinus from its wood anatomically inseparable species P. tinctorius. Results from this study verified not only the feasibility of building DNA barcode libraries using xylarium wood specimens, but the importance of using wood rather than leaves as the source tissue, when wood is the botanical material to be identified.



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Scientific Reports. London: Nature Publishing Group, v. 8, 10 p., 2018.