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Trade in Zambian Edible Orchids—DNA Barcoding Reveals the Use of Unexpected Orchid Taxa for Chikanda

Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Postboks 1172, Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK
Bews Herbarium, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pr. Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zambia, Box 32379 Lusaka, Zambia
Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9505, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
University of Applied Sciences Leiden, Zernikedreef 11, 2333 CK Leiden, The Netherlands
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB), Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, CP50, 45 rue Buffon 75005 Paris, France
School of Natural Resources, The Copperbelt University, PO Box 21692 Kitwe, Zambia
East African Herbarium, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Homegarden Landscape Consultants Ltd., P/Bag 30C, Chilanga, Lusaka, Zambia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(12), 595;
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 17 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Barcoding and Metabarcoding of Complex Matrices)
In Zambia, wild edible terrestrial orchids are used to produce a local delicacy called chikanda, which has become increasingly popular throughout the country. Commercialization puts orchid populations in Zambia and neighbouring countries at risk of overharvesting. Hitherto, no study has documented which orchid species are traded on local markets, as orchid tubers are difficult to identify morphologically. In this study, the core land-plant DNA barcoding markers rbcL and matK were used in combination with nrITS to determine which species were sold in Zambian markets. Eighty-two interviews were conducted to determine harvesting areas, as well as possible sustainability concerns. By using nrITS DNA barcoding, a total of 16 orchid species in six different genera could be identified. Both rbcL and matK proved suitable to identify the tubers up to the genus or family level. Disa robusta, Platycoryne crocea and Satyrium buchananii were identified most frequently and three previously undocumented species were encountered on the market. Few orchid species are currently listed on the global International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Local orchid populations and endemic species could be at risk of overharvesting due to the intensive and indiscriminate harvesting of chikanda orchids, and we therefore encourage increased conservation assessment of terrestrial African orchids. View Full-Text
Keywords: CITES; chikanda; conservation; DNA barcoding; orchids; species identification CITES; chikanda; conservation; DNA barcoding; orchids; species identification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Veldman, S.; Kim, S.-J.; Van Andel, T.R.; Bello Font, M.; Bone, R.E.; Bytebier, B.; Chuba, D.; Gravendeel, B.; Martos, F.; Mpatwa, G.; Ngugi, G.; Vinya, R.; Wightman, N.; Yokoya, K.; De Boer, H.J. Trade in Zambian Edible Orchids—DNA Barcoding Reveals the Use of Unexpected Orchid Taxa for Chikanda. Genes 2018, 9, 595.

AMA Style

Veldman S, Kim S-J, Van Andel TR, Bello Font M, Bone RE, Bytebier B, Chuba D, Gravendeel B, Martos F, Mpatwa G, Ngugi G, Vinya R, Wightman N, Yokoya K, De Boer HJ. Trade in Zambian Edible Orchids—DNA Barcoding Reveals the Use of Unexpected Orchid Taxa for Chikanda. Genes. 2018; 9(12):595.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Veldman, Sarina, Seol-Jong Kim, Tinde R. Van Andel, Maria Bello Font, Ruth E. Bone, Benny Bytebier, David Chuba, Barbara Gravendeel, Florent Martos, Geophat Mpatwa, Grace Ngugi, Royd Vinya, Nicholas Wightman, Kazutoma Yokoya, and Hugo J. De Boer 2018. "Trade in Zambian Edible Orchids—DNA Barcoding Reveals the Use of Unexpected Orchid Taxa for Chikanda" Genes 9, no. 12: 595.

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