Source: SEAMEO BIOTROP's Research Grant | 2020
Ebony (Diospyros celebica Bakh.) It is an endemic tree species to Sulawesi, which produces luxury sawn timber with high commercial value in Indonesia. However, the exploitation that does not consider the sustainability of production, uncontrolled illegal logging practices, and land-use change causes a significant reduction in timber potential in natural forests. Seeing its uniqueness, efforts are needed to preserve this species' existence, both through in-situ and ex-situ conservation and planting activities to ensure ecosystem functions and services both ecologically, economically, and socio-culture. One of the efforts that can be done is to carry out forest restoration with the domination of ebony in its natural habitat and other areas in ecosystem restoration. Earlier this year, the United Nations (UN) launched the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, which appealed to all countries in the world to use political and financial resources to support massive ecosystem restoration programs.
The success of ecosystem restoration through various planting activities can be influenced by several factors, one of which is the seeds used where the genetic background determines success. The study of Jalonen et al. (2017) shows that about 40% of the reproductive material of forest plants comes from fragmented populations with insecure quality. Therefore, quality ebony seeds or seedlings with an adequate genetic base are needed to increase ecosystem restoration success. Visually, distinguishing quality seeds or seedlings from seeds or seeds that are not very good is not easy. Therefore, another method is needed to find quality seeds or wildliys. However, genetic information on natural ebony populations in Sulawesi based on genetic markers is not yet available. At this initial stage, rapid population genetic research is needed that can be obtained using molecular markers with a high degree of variability, such as microsatellites.
Microsatellites, also known as simple sequence repeat (SSR) or Simple Tandem Repeats (STRs), are molecular markers with a simple sequence. According to Burke and Long (2012), microsatellite markers can genetically distinguish individual characters because they have a high polymorphism level. Larekeng (2019) has conducted a microsatellite analysis with Eboni, but the population used is only one population and three SSR loci only with reference types using Diospyros kaki. So it is necessary to develop the SSR locus by using the reference type Diospyros celebica with a larger population.
This study aimed to analyze the characteristics of ebony in various natural forest populations in Sulawesi using microsatellite markers.
a. The cpSSR primers used for genetic diversity analysis in ebony populations in Sulawesi are ccmp2, ccmp4, ccmp5, ccmp6, and ccmp10.
b. The population of Belaborri has the highest genetic diversity compared with other populations, so that it can be used as a source of ebony reproductive material for ecosystem restoration.
c. The Poso Pesisir Utara population has the lowest genetic diversity of the entire population.
d. There are 40 haplotypes found in 110 samples.
e. The number of wildly in natural populations is minimal
f. Ebony saplings are sensitive to environmental changes