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Whole-tree heartwood inducing technique for Dalbergia odorifera

By Hui Meng, DeLi Chen, Xiangsheng Zhao, Zheng Zhang, Yangyang Liu, Zhihui Gao, Peiwei Liu, Jian Feng, Yun Yang, JianHe Wei

Posted 22 Dec 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/503987

The dried heartwood of Dalbergia odorifera is a very important traditional Chinese medicine. In nature, D. odorifera heartwood forms slowly over several decades, and excessive harvesting has caused large-scale reductions of its wild populations. To date, there have been no studies on artificial methods to induce heartwood formation in trees that have not already begun producing heartwood. We have published a patent for a whole-tree heartwood inducing technique for D. odorifera (the “Dodor-Wit” method); here, we describe and analyze its efficacy. Trees in four plantations in China were treated using this method. After two years, in 2016 and 2017, they were harvested and analyzed. Average heartwood yield per tree was 3,161.95 g. Heartwood induction rate (dry heartwood weight to total dry trunk weight after peeling) was 21.60%. Average volatile oil content per tree was 1.42%. Alcohol-soluble extract of the induced heartwood was 15.77%, exceeding the Chinese Pharmacopoeia standard. This is the first report on the Dodor-Wit method and heartwood induction in D. odorifera trees aged 5–8 years. The heartwood induced by Dodor-Wit satisfies the requirements of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. The Dodor-Wit method has an important role in solving the extreme scarcity of Chinese medicinal herbs.

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