Molekylär identifikation av orkidérötter (Orchidaceae: Orchidoideae) som säljs illegalt i Iran och Turkmenistan med Next Generation Sequencing

Tidsperiod: 2014-01-01 till 2016-12-31

Projektledare: Hugo De Boer

Medarbetare: Mikael Hedrén, Hugo De Boer, Farzaneh Naghibi, Shahin Zarre

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 751 000 SEK

Orchids are collected widely in Asia Minor for use in the traditional product salep. Destructive harvesting and overexploitation of fragile populations has forced traders to tap into new resource areas further east, such as the Kopet-Dagh Mts. Terrestrial orchids in the genera Orchis and Dactylorhiza are most frequently collected, but due to high demand and prices all species are targeted indiscriminately. Pilot data from Iran indicates that traders visit Turkmen communities in the Kopet-Dagh to solicit orchid collection. Salep prices lie at roughly 100 euro/kg, and increase year-on-year. Orchids are sensitive to overexploitation, and it is important to know what species are traded. Conventional morphology-based studies cannot be used to identify roots. Orchidaceae-specific markers designed using NGS genomic data can be used for accurate molecular barcoding identification. NGS High-Throughput Sequencing, which enables sequencing of multiple samples in parallel, will be used to establish presence of different species in powdered bulk. The development of a salep molecular barcoding identification system based on a reference library with sequence data of the 49 Iranian and Turkmen species will: 1) provide a tool to identify conservation priority species; 2) aid the Iranian Environmental Protection Organization to monitor and control illegal trade; 3) help customs seize and identify smuggled tubers; and 4) reduce health risks to consumers by detecting food and medicinal fraud.