Analysis of DNA profiles of ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) to provide evidence of illegal logging

Anna Tereba, Stephen Woodward, Agata Konecka, Malgorzata Borys, Justyna Anna Nowakowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Illegal logging is a major problem in many European countries. Recent progress in molecular biology, however, has significantly improved the ability to accurately identify wood material. In this paper, the first application of microsatellite DNA markers is described in a case of illegal logging of European ash wood in Polish State Forests. The genetic fingerprints of seized ash wood samples were determined using six nuclear and four chloroplast microsatellite loci, characterized by sufficient stringency in forensic analyses. By comparing the DNA profiles obtained, the origin of one sample of ash wood used as evidence material was confirmed, from among three samples serving as reference material with 99.99999% of probability. This work demonstrates how DNA authenticity testing can serve as an important technical tool in monitoring the legality of the suspected ash timber and confirms the utility of these techniques in detecting illegally logged timber in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1387
Number of pages11
JournalWood Science and Technology
Issue number6
Early online date15 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

The present work formed part of a research project supported by the General Directorate of State Forests (Grants BLP-333 and BLP-384). We gratefully acknowledge the Forest Guard staff from Śnieżka Forest District for their efficient cooperation. We also thank Małgorzata Gorzkowska from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology FRI Poland, who assisted with processing of plant material in the laboratory.


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of DNA profiles of ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) to provide evidence of illegal logging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this