News July 2024

DNA database ensures traceability of forest plantings along the production chain

The European Forest Strategy 2030 puts the focus on climate-resilient forest management. Choosing the right planting material in afforestation is essential here: use appropriate tree species with the right provenance. A broad genetic base increases the likelihood that trees are well adapted to current and future climate conditions. But how do you know what you are planting?

ANB commissioned INBO, together with the Agency for Agriculture and Fisheries and the tree nursery sector, to create a DNA database. This enables traceability and transparency across the entire production chain of forest plantings of native origin with the label 'Plant van hier'. It is one of the first DNA databases in Europe for forest planting certification and tracing.

The database contains profiles of 9 tree and shrub species of native origin from 25 recognised seed orchards. The database will be further expanded in the future.

In addition, the database provides insights into genetic diversity within seed orchards. It is therefore also a valuable tool for managing those seed orchards and maintaining genetic diversity.

Annelore De Ro, Pieter De Frenne, Hannes Wilms, Leen Verschaeve, An Van Breusegem, Sabrina Neyrinck, Kristine Vander Mijnsbrugge, An Vanden Broeck

Read more: De Ro et al. (2024). A genetic database as a tool to provide proof of origin of autochthonous forest reproductive material. Book of abstract, p9. Seed Orchards Conference 20-24 May 2024 – Brasov, Romania

Image above: Yves Adams (Vildaphoto)


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