Monitoring Facilities » Centre for DNA barcoding and Timber Forensics

Centre for DNA barcoding and Timber Forensics

The Centre for DNA Barcoding and Timber Forensics at KSCSTE-KFRI utilizes molecular markers with good forensic parameters to generate DNA-based evidence for tracking the origin of timbers and chain of custody validation of traded timbers.

KFRI offers technical expertise to trace the origin of illegally felled timber by comparing DNA fingerprints of the seized wood with that of the original stump and provides tamper-proof evidence to the judiciary to deal with illegal felling cases. This is the first of its kind facility in the country which provides DNA evidence to the honourable Court so as to tackle the scourge of illegal felling, more quickly and effectively. The ability to track and authenticate forest resources of economic value is crucial for the effective management of natural resources and appropriate regulation of trade.

DNA Barcoding and Timber Forensics at KFRI

DNA barcoding is another promising molecular tool for the authentication of wood and non-wood forest produce and thereby curbing market adulteration. Through the development of institutional capability for DNA barcoding of life forms, KFRI has demonstrated the potentialities of DNA barcodes in biological species identification, solving taxonomic complexities, certification of planting materials in bamboo, authentication of Ayurvedic raw drugs, and species confirmation of timber logs/products, for various stakeholders.

KFRI has developed a DNA barcode database for commercial timber tree species which can be used as a tamper-proof and credible tool to distinguish adulterant wood species for voluntary wood certification agencies. Currently, the DNA barcoding facility caters to the requirements of various researchers in the field and undertakes consultancy services from various State Forest Departments and other agencies.

The Centre for DNA Barcoding and Timber Forensics has the scientific expertise to offer a hands-on training programme that helps the trainees to develop know-how on the various molecular marker techniques/DNA testing/ barcoding/ sequence data analysis and will be useful for the researchers to understand its applications in the conservation and sustainable management of forest genetic resources.


The Centre is envisioned to be state-of-the-art-facility in timber forensics to deal with illegal felling cases and market adulteration of wood/non-wood products employing DNA evidence.


  • DNA barcoding for species confirmation in wood and non-wood products/any kind of plant samples
  • DNA fingerprinting (SSR/ISSR based) for tracking the origin of timber logs for the judiciary and various Govt. agencies/ for distinguishing varieties and hybrids.
  • To conduct training and internship programs on DNA testing.

Services offered

  1. DNA fingerprinting of plant species using Microsatellite (SSRs)/Inter Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSR) markers
    • For species/population/varietal discrimination
    • Genetic fidelity testing
    • DNA match testing of seized (logs) and evidence wood (stump)
  2. DNA barcoding of timber/plant species using rbcL, matK and trnH-psbA barcode regions
    • Species authentication/identification
    • Check for Adulteration
    • Resolve taxonomic complexities

The terms and Conditions and Application for DNA Barcoding/Fingerprinting can be downloaded from here.

The charges of DNA barcoding and DNA testing for timber forensics can be downloaded from here.

Note: For DNA testing related to Crime cases, Wood specimens in sealed packets are accepted only from Courts of Law and Government Departments, along with a duly filled forwarding note from the concerned authorities.

Training/Internship programs

The facility is designed and equipped with enough resources to provide hands-on workshops, short-term training programs, and internship programs with both theoretical and practical classes for Post-graduates/Research Scholars and forensic personnel. The program will provide practical knowledge on the various facets of timber forensics and its implication in proper forest management and conservation of valuable resources.

  1. Short-term Training programs (15 days) in DNA Barcoding & DNA Fingerprinting
    This course is meant for academic and forensic personnel, hands-on training will be provided.
  2. Internship programs in DNA Barcoding & DNA Fingerprinting
    Theory and hands-on training in DNA Fingerprinting and DNA Barcoding techniques. Details for registration are available in the Academic Attachment section of KFRI.

A detailed brochure about the centre is available for download.

Contact: Centre for DNA barcoding and Timber Forensics
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi P.O, Thrissur District, Kerala - 680653, India.
Tel: +91- 487 -2690191