ESR 9:255-261 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00141

SNP-based method for the genetic identification of ramin Gonystylus spp. timber and products: applied research meeting CITES enforcement needs

Rob Ogden1,5,*, H. Noel McGough2, Robyn S. Cowan2, Lilian Chua3, Madeleine Groves2, Ross McEwing4,5

1Wildlife DNA Services, Tepnel, Appleton Parkway, Livingston EH54 7EZ, UK
2Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK
3Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), 52109 Kepong, Selangor, Malaysia
4TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network, Science Campus, Deiniol Rd, Bangor LL57 2UW, UK
5School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor LL57 2UW, UK

ABSTRACT: We describe the development of a genetic assay for the identification of the tropical hardwood ramin Gonystylus spp., a CITES-listed genus subject to illegal international trade. Samples representing different ramin species, confamilial genera and morphologically similar taxa were obtained. DNA extraction from leaf material and wood products was achieved using commercially available kits. Five chloroplast genes were examined for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) loci capable of discriminating ramin. A locus within the matK gene was selected and a TaqMan® assay designed for sample genotyping. The assay was validated against different species to demonstrate its specificity and reproducibility. The final assay provides a robust, cost-effective, transferable method for identifying processed ramin. The research represents a feasibility study, addressing each of the steps required to develop a genetic identification assay for enforcement use; however, it should be noted that further work is required to produce a fully validated forensic identification tool.


KEY WORDS: Illegal trade · Logging · Forensics · Endangered species · Species identification


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Cite this article as: Ogden R, McGough HN, Cowan RS, Chua L, Groves M, McEwing R (2008) SNP-based method for the genetic identification of ramin Gonystylus spp. timber and products: applied research meeting CITES enforcement needs. Endang Species Res 9:255-261. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00141

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