Abstract Detail


Woudstra, Yannick [1], Viruel, Juan [2], Howard, Caroline [3], Rønsted, Nina [4], Grace, Olwen [1].

Molecular identification and phylogenomic resolution of Aloe vera and relatives using customised nuclear target enrichment.

Aloe vera and a few other members of the genus Aloe (Asphodelaceae) support a global industry in cosmetics and health and food products and are of considerable horticultural interest which puts pressure on local wild populations. Conventional methods for identification, involving morphology, traditional DNA barcodes and chemical fingerprinting, are insufficient to reach species-level from sterile material. Nuclear target enrichment coupled with Illumina sequencing (Hyb-Seq) is a powerful tool for obtaining hundreds of low-copy nuclear loci with high-coverage to support molecular identification of even the most phylogenetically challenging clades. We selected 189 low-copy nuclear loci from newly generated transcriptomes in Aloe and the related genus Aloidendron to develop a customised RNA-bait panel for nuclear target enrichment. The method performed well in a pilot study of 24 samples, and an expanded sampling with a further 190 species yielded maximum likelihood and coalescent trees with high statistical support on all shallow nodes. This target capture method is a promising tool for molecular identification of Aloe-derived material, including the authentication of traded products where DNA is expected to be heavily degraded, since we were able to recover ±150 kbp even for heavily degraded DNA samples. When successfully applied to relevant samples, our method has the potential to help monitor species in trade, support conservation and international conventions such as CITES and CBD.

Related Links:
Project background for MSCA-ITN Plant.ID project on Genomic Barcoding of the genus Aloe

1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Comparative Plant & Fungal Biology, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE, UK
2 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Conservation Science, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE, UK
3 - Wellcome Sanger Institute, London, NW1 2BE, UK
4 - National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, HI, 96741, United States

target capture
Targeted sequencing
next-generation sequencing
Aloe ferox
Aloe arborescens
herbarium specimens
DNA barcoding
Aloe barbadensis.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PHYL2, Phylogenomics II
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 12:45 PM
Number: PHYL2002
Abstract ID:367
Candidate for Awards:None

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