Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) recently began a study focused on developing innovative techniques to extract quality DNA samples from wood and wood products.
According to an FPL Research In Progress report titled Anatomically Informed Optimization of Wood and Wood Products for Forensic Analysis, compared to other plant parts, wood is often a poor source of DNA, even if it is extracted from a living tree. The processing of trees and wood can further diminish the quality and usability of that DNA.
Scientists hope exploring and developing improved DNA extraction practices will open the door to valuable, cost effective, and revolutionary research, especially in the field of forensic botany and timber forensics.
FPL researchers plan to examine various tree species in order to develop preprocessing methods for wood DNA extraction. Furthermore, botanists plan to explore the use of DNA databases and predict extraction protocols for new woods based on wood structure.
The project will conclude in 2018.
To learn more about this study, read the full Research In Progress report.
Blog post by Francesca Yracheta