Development of genetic marking and cutting production techniques for industrial Brazilian rosewood production - ANIB@ROSA2

Brazilian rosewood (Aniba roasaeodora) is a heritage species in French Guiana, which made a substantial contribution to its economy in the 20th century. Its essential oil is highly sought after by the perfume, cosmetics and aromatherapy sectors. The Anib@rosa project highlighted the economic potential of the value chain and the change in regulations governing its use (decree no. 2017-848 of 9 May 2017), which now ban only logging of wild trees and thus favour the development of a cultivated rosewood supply chain. However, despite enthusiasm on the part of new logging firms, availability is still an obstacle. The Anib@rosa2 project set out to provide the bases for developing industrial rosewood plantations, by offering alternative ways of obtaining planting material (vegetative propagation or coppicing). The project will also be looking into the genetic markers that govern rosewood quality criteria, such as essential oil production. The eventual aim is to offer tools for selecting promising individuals, with a view to genetic improvement programmes.
Rosewood essential oil is highly sought after by the perfume, cosmetics and aromatherapy sectors © CIRAD
Rosewood essential oil is highly sought after by the perfume, cosmetics and aromatherapy sectors © CIRAD

Rosewood essential oil is highly sought after by the perfume, cosmetics and aromatherapy sectors © CIRAD

Issues

Rosewood essential oil is highly sought after, whether for luxury perfumes, because of its olfactory and perfume-fixing properties, or in alternative medicine, for its many therapeutic properties:  among other things, it regenerates tissues and has antifungal, antibacterial and antidepressant properties. The species was harvested in such vast volumes that natural populations were exhausted, and logging was eventually banned in 2001 in French Guiana. In 2010, at the request of Brazil, the only large-scale rosewood producer, the species was even added to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix II, leading to increasingly strict controls.

It is this situation that has prompted several players in French Guiana to think about resuming essential oil production. This could be a major lever for economic development in French Guiana, which produces exceptionally high-quality rosewood essential oil.

Description

The Anib@rosa project’s activities centre on three pillars:

  • Developing new ways of producing rosewood from cuttings;
  • Studying the capacity of rosewood trees to produce suckers after cutting back and growth figures for planted trees;
  • Identifying genetic markers with the aim of selecting promising individuals for genetic improvement programmes.

Expected results/changes

  • A rosewood vegetative propagation procedure will have been supplied to stakeholders in the value chain.
  • The capacity of rosewood trees to produce suckers after cutting back (coppicing) will have been determined and a picture of tree biomass production following initial thinning after ten years will be available.
  • A rosewood reference genome will have been annotated and a reference transcriptome will be available.

Expected impact

Project leaders will have new knowledge to enable essential oil production on an industrial scale, within a sustainable management context that fosters conservation of the species in its natural area.

Contract partners

  • ONF: Office National des forêts
  • INRAE: Institut national de la recherche agronomique
  • L’Agro Forestière (service partner)