The DNA fingerprinting platform works in close partnership with our industry collaborators to provide a high-throughput DNA fingerprinting research service to the South African forestry industry, with the aim of improving tree breeding for pine and eucalypt species of commercial importance. DNA is first extracted from tissues such as leaves and needles, cambium, seeds and pollen, and specific regions are amplified using multiplexed DNA markers suited to various applications. These DNA markers can be applied to verify clonal identity, reconstruct pedigrees, and to verify species composition in pure species and hybrids. We also provide support to various molecular breeding projects by preparing DNA for SNP genotyping.
In August 2018 we launched a forestry genetics information system, BioPlasm, which was developed in collaboration with Creation Breeding Innovations. This database will serve as a central repository to capture sample metadata provided by our industry partners, book and manage projects through our platform, provide access to genotypic data, enable quick reference to the outcomes of our DNA marker analysis in field, and, in the future, allow users to interact with the genotypic data to answer specific questions regarding the identify, parentage, genetic makeup and breeding value of their forest tree germplasm.