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High-throughput sequencing of African chikanda cake highlights conservation challenges in orchids
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology.
Naturalis Biodivers Ctr, Darwinweg 2, NL-2333 CR Leiden, Netherlands.;Univ Appl Sci Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands..
Muhimbili Univ Hlth & Allied Sci, Inst Tradit Med, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania..
Naturalis Biodivers Ctr, Darwinweg 2, NL-2333 CR Leiden, Netherlands..
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2017 (English)In: Biodiversity and Conservation, ISSN 0960-3115, E-ISSN 1572-9710, Vol. 26, no 9, p. 2029-2046Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Chikanda is a traditional dish made with wild-harvested ground orchid tubers belonging to three orchidioid genera, Disa, Satyrium and Habenaria, all of which are CITES appendix II-listed. Identification of collected orchid tubers is very difficult and documentation of constituent species in prepared chikanda has hitherto been impossible. Here amplicon metabarcoding was used in samples of six prepared chikanda cakes to study genetic sequence diversity and species diversity in this product. Molecular operational taxonomic unit identification using similarity-matching reveals that species of all three genera were present in the chikanda samples studied. Disa was present in all of the samples, Satyrium in five out of six and Habenaria in one of the samples, as well as a number of other plants. The fact that each sample contained orchids and the presence of a wide variety of species from all genera in this traditional dish raise serious concerns about the sustainability of this trade and the future of wild orchid populations in the main harvest areas. This proof-of-concept study shows that Ion-Torrent PGM is a cost-effective scalable platform for metabarcoding using the relatively long nrITS1 and nrITS2 regions. Furthermore, nrITS metabarcoding can be successfully used for the detection of specific ingredients in a highly-processed food product at genus level, and this makes it a useful tool in the detection of possible conservation issues arising from commercialized trade or processed plant products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 26, no 9, p. 2029-2046
Keywords [en]
CITES, Disa, Ethnobotany, Habenaria, Ion-Torrent PGM, Satyrium, Wildlife forensics
National Category
Botany Biological Systematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332941DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1343-7ISI: 000405799700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332941DiVA, id: diva2:1154553
Available from: 2017-11-02 Created: 2017-11-02 Last updated: 2018-06-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Markets, mixtures and molecular methods: Investigating medicinal plant and edible orchid diversity in Tanzania and Zambia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Markets, mixtures and molecular methods: Investigating medicinal plant and edible orchid diversity in Tanzania and Zambia
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Medicinal plants are an important source of primary healthcare for many people in Tanzania. These medicinal plants are harvested from the wild, and increasing commercial trade poses a serious threat to local plant populations. Currently it is unknown which species are traded and in what amounts. Across the southwestern border in Zambia, the traditional dish chikanda has transformed from a niche product to being a mainstream delicacy. One of the main ingredients are wild-harvested orchids, and these have become depleted throughout the country as an effect of the increased trade. It is unclear which orchid species are targeted and might be at risk of overharvesting. The aims of my doctorate are to map harvest and trade of Tanzanian medicinal plants and Tanzanian and Zambian edible orchids, to investigate whether species that are traded on local markets can be identified using molecular methods such as DNA barcoding and metabarcoding and identify conservation issues arising from wild-harvesting of medicinal plants and edible orchids.

In Paper I DNA metabarcoding analysis of Tanzanian chikanda cake show the presence of 17 different orchids species belonging to the genera DisaSatyrium and Habenaria, and in Paper V the analysis of chikanda tubers sold on Zambian markets reveals that at least 16 orchid species from 6 different orchid genera are targeted in local orchid trade. Paper II describes a quantitative market survey of the non-woody, non-powdered medicinal plants sold on Kariakoo market in Dar-es-Salaam that shows that a total of 67 species are traded in an annual volume of nearly 31 tonnes of fresh and dried medicinal leaves, seeds and fruits with an estimated value of 200,000 USD. For Paper III 873 medicinal plant products were analysed using DNA barcoding, literature and morphology to determine which species are traded on the Dar-es-Salaam and Tanga markets. In total, 509 identifications could be made corresponding to 91 species, 124 genera and 65 plant families, and several cases of over- and under-differentiation were detected. Paper IV builds upon the identifications in Paper III to determine in what amount the medicinal plant species present at the local markets are traded and to investigate if commercial trade poses a threat to local plant populations. It was found that several of the most highly favored medicinal plants were perceived to becoming more difficult to obtain in the wild.

This thesis shows that DNA barcoding is a powerful rapid identification method for morphologically unidentifiable specimens. It also shows that commercialization of wild-harvested plant products threatens local plant populations, and highlights the need for conservation measures to avoid local extinction of economically and socially important plant species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 36
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1689
Keywords
DNA barcoding, Africa, Species delimitation, Orchids, Medicinal plants
National Category
Other Biological Topics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355182 (URN)978-91-513-0376-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-13, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2018-08-22 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-08-28Bibliographically approved

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