new Leeds spinout company is using DNA to
identify trees causing subsidence –
a method that could save the insurance industry
millions of pounds a year.
is a major issue for insurers, with more than
10,000 cases each year costing £300
million. The Consumers Association estimates
that about 70 per cent of all cases are caused
by tree roots. Trees causing subsidence need
to be identified to determine ownership for
insurance claim purposes and to prevent further
damage by removing the offending tree.
current method for identifying trees involves
the microscopic analysis of root samples.
However, this is labour-intensive and cannot
give 100 per cent accurate identification.
spinout company Identi-Tree uses specialised
plant DNA profiling techniques. Each individual
species has a unique genetic blueprint and
test samples are compared against Identi-Tree’s
extensive library of DNA sequences.
is based on the expertise of professor of
plant molecular genetics, Phil Gilmartin (left),
who said: “Identi-Tree’s unique
approach employs proven gene analysis tools
that offer significant advantages in accuracy,
reproducibility and reliability.”