ASP Traceability of Forest Reproductive Material

Practicalities TA feedback

The TNA holder has indicated that this infrastructure would remain accessible also after the Trees4Future end-of-project, however the applicant would have to bear costs.

Potential users are invited to enquire directly with the site manager for agreement on accessibility and related costs.


Red oak germination testRed oak (Quercus rubra) germination test.
Photo: ASP.

Type of facility: Laboratory - molecular genetics, biochemistry, seed testing

Keywords: forest genetics, population genetics, genotyping, sequencing, seed testing, wood, certification of FRM, traceability, forest reproductive material

Who would find this useful? Forest-based research community, Non-forest research communities (plant science, agriculture, land use, climate change, environment, bioenergy), Wood production community (seed dealers and nurseries, forest managers, forest owners), Policy-makers dealing with research issues, International organisations, Certification agencies

"I was impressed by the high level of scientific research which include the most modern methods of genetic research and equipment."

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About the facility: The ASP laboratory facilities offer access to a combination of genetic lab (DNA, biochemical markers) and seed testing lab, including long-term storage facilities for Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) under controlled conditions. The infrastructure conducts applied forest genetic research and was involved in the development of a new certification system for forest reproductive material based on reference samples and genetic investigations (DNA-fingerprint), called ZÜF.

Laboratory facilities represent a combination of genetic lab (DNA, biochemical markers) and seed testing lab, including long-term storage facilities for Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) under controlled conditions. The infrastructure conducts applied forest genetic research and was involved in the development of a new certification system for forest reproductive material based on reference samples and genetic investigations (DNA-fingerprint). The system, called “ZÜF”, is put into practise on a private basis. Since 2006 more than 6 million plants have been produced per year under this system. The infrastructure is the service agency for yield, storage and genetic checks in ZÜF. Currently an effective method for DNA-fingerprinting on different tree species as beech, oak, spruce and pine has been developed and practically applied to solve cases where wood has been stolen.


ASP LaboratoryASP Laboratory. Photo: ASP.

Services currently offered are genetic analysis (biochemical markers, organellar and nuclear DNA-markers, sequencing) with respect to traceability by comparing the sample in question to a great collection of reference samples. Clone material for energy forests (poplar clones) can also be identified. One distinctive feature resides in the fact, that during one visit all relevant methods for dealing with FRM can be learnt and principles for effective collaboration between laboratories are passed on. Furthermore we provide training and workshops on national and international level on traceability of FRM as part of a quality certification system of seeds and seedlings.

Technical information

  • DNA-laboratory (cooled centrifuges, grinding mill, electrophorese chambers for agarose gels, gradient and ordinary PCR-machines, 2 automatic 8-capillary sequencing machines (Beckman-Coulter CEQ8000 and GeXP);
  • Biochemical laboratory (stirring gear, microwave, pipettes, electrophorese chambers for starch gels, fume hood, sterile bench, freeze-drying device);
  • Seed testing laboratory (germination chambers, long term storage facilites at -10°C and -20°C, seed bank); large collection of reference samples for important forest tree species.

Fields of application - examples

  • Provenance identification of seedlings produced under ZÜF for up to 15 species;
  • Molecular identification and intraspecific variation of Chalara fraxinea (the fungus causing ash dieback);
  • Genetic variation of Sorbus torminalis.

What does the TA programme offer? The facility offers a 5- to 10-day visit, during which users will receive training on the traceability system and genetic analysis.

The users will receive documentation of seed testing, analyse genetic diversity and genetic differentiation compared to reference material; attribution to regions of origin for certain species (e.g. Douglas fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii; black pine - Pinus nigra); traceability for FRM moving in trade.

More information

Location: Teisendorf, Germany

Contact details/practical information

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