Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 55 in total

  1. Lee SY, Kamarul T
    Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2014 Mar;64:115-22.
    PMID: 24325858 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.11.039
    In this study, a chitosan co-polymer scaffold was prepared by mixing poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), NO, carboxymethyl chitosan (NOCC) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) solutions to obtain desirable properties for chondrocyte cultivation. Electron beam (e-beam) radiation was used to physically cross-link these polymers at different doses (30 kGy and 50 kGy). The co-polymers were then lyophilized to form macroporous three-dimensional (3-D) matrix. Scaffold morphology, porosity, swelling properties, biocompatibility, expression of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and type II collagen following the seeding of primary chondrocytes were studied up to 28 days. The results demonstrate that irradiation of e-beam at 50 kGy increased scaffold porosity and pore sizes subsequently enhanced cell attachment and proliferation. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy revealed extensive interconnected microstructure of PVA-PEG-NOCC, demonstrated cellular activities on the scaffolds and their ability to maintain chondrocyte phenotype. In addition, the produced PVA-PEG-NOCC scaffolds showed superior swelling properties, and increased GAG and type II collagen secreted by the seeded chondrocytes. In conclusion, the results suggest that by adding NOCC and irradiation cross-linking at 50 kGy, the physical and biological properties of PVA-PEG blend can be further enhanced thereby making PVA-PEG-NOCC a potential scaffold for chondrocytes.
  2. Loh SY, Lee SY, Murray L
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(19):8127-34.
    PMID: 25338995
    BACKGROUND: Qigong is highly favoured among Asian breast cancer survivors for enhancing health. This study examined the hypothesis that quality of life (QoL) in the Qigong group is better than the placebo (aerobic) or usual care group.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 197 participants were randomly assigned to either the 8-week Kuala Lumpur Qigong Trial or control groups in 2010-2011. Measurement taken at baseline and post- intervention included QoL, distress and fatigue. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Kruskal Wallis were used to examine for differences between groups in the measurements.

    RESULTS: There were 95 consenting participants in this 8week trial. The adherence rates were 63% for Qigong and 65% for the placebo group. The Qigong group showed significant marginal improvement in Quality of life scores compared to placebo (mean difference=7.3 unit; p=0.036), compared to usual care (mean difference=6.7 unit; p=0.048) on Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-Breast measure. There were no significant changes between the placebo and usual care groups in fatigue or distress at post intervention (8-week).

    CONCLUSIONS: Cancer survivors who participated in the Qigong intervention showed slightly better QOL. Follow up studies are greatly needed to evaluate which subgroups may best benefit from Qigong. With a steep rise of cancer survivors, there is an urgent need to explore and engage more cultural means of physical activity to fight side effects of treatment and for cancer control in developing countries.

  3. Loh SY, Chew SL, Lee SY
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2011;12(6):1483-8.
    PMID: 22126486
    BACKGROUND: Many cancer survivors are still not active enough to reap the benefits of physical activity. This study aimed to explore the correlation between perceived barriers and participation in exercise among multi- ethnic Malaysian women with breast cancer.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a pre-post questionnaire and a media-clip as a cancer control strategy was conducted on a random sample of women with breast cancer. The tools were structured questionnaires to collect socio-medical demographic and physical activity data (e.g. barriers, exercise self-efficacy).

    RESULTS: A statistically significant relationship between level of physical activity before and after diagnosis of breast cancer (n=51, χ2=70.14, p<0.01) was found, whereby participants who rated more hours of physical activity before diagnosis were likely to persevere with exercise after diagnosis, r(49)=0.73, p<01. Some 76.5% of women engaged in low level activity and 23.5% of the participants engaged in moderate level of physical activity.

    CONCLUSIONS: Despite the many benefits of physical activity, the majority of survivors in this study were not found to be physically active, and did not even consciously think of exercise participation. Lack of time is the main barrier amongst those survivors who are predominantly 40-50 year old housewives juggling with household chores, childcare and/or job commitments. Public health messages stressing that short bouts of exercise or some exercise are better than no exercise needs to be emphasised consistently.
  4. Loh SY, Chew SL, Lee SY
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2011;12(1):87-94.
    PMID: 21517237
    INTRODUCTION: Physical activity participation amongst cancer survivors is low. This potent modifiable host factor has been disregarded in the cancer treatment plan for decades, despite its role in cancer control. The purpose of this study was to explore perception of physical activity among women with breast cancer.
    METHODS: Focus group with purposive sampling methods were conducted on women at different cancer trajectory - ie. completed treatment (n = 6) and undergoing treatment (n = 8). The taped discussions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Concepts were identified as unique or shared between the two groups, and ordered into subcategories.
    RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Three key categories on barriers to exercise; facilitator/motivator towards exercise; and myths around exercise were highlighted. There were more myths and reservations about physical activity in the UT (undergoing treatment) group, than in the CT (completed-treatment) group. Facilitators included positive experience from physical activity engagement, easy-access to facility, and good social support.
    CONCLUSIONS: Although both groups expressed difficulties in engaging in physical activity, the newly diagnosed have more negative perception of physical activity engagement. Both groups did not note the significant role of physical activity and cancer prevention/ recurrence, which is a key strategy to promote the uptake of exercise and acceptance of active lifestyle for cancer survivors. Health care clinicians like occupational therapists need to play greater public health role in educating and counseling lifestyle redesign for survivors living with cancer.
  5. Lee SY, Mustafa S, Ching YW, Shafee N
    Mol. Biol. (Mosk.), 2017 3 3;51(1):104-110.
    PMID: 28251972 DOI: 10.7868/S0026898417010116
    Both zinc and the α-subunit of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α) play important roles in the remodelling of mammary gland tissues. In the present study, we examined the level and the transcriptional activity of HIF-1α in mammary cells upon zinc treatment. In MCF-7 mammary adenocarcinoma and MCF-10A mammary epithelial cell lines, the toxicity levels of zinc differ. Interestingly, both cell lines overexpress HIF-1α following zinc treatment. As it was evident from an up-regulation of its specific target gene CA9 that encodes carbonic anhydrase IX, the stabilized HIF-1α translocated to the nucleus and was transcriptionally active. Hence, we conclude that zinc causes normoxic accumulation of transcriptionally active HIF-1α by interfering with its post-translational regulation.
  6. Hassan R, Lee SY, Morni WZW
    ScientificWorldJournal, 2017;2017:1489360.
    PMID: 28695188 DOI: 10.1155/2017/1489360
    Sea star (class Asteroidea, phylum Echinodermata) is one of the most successful marine organisms inhabiting a wide range of habitats. As one of the key stone species, sea stars are responsible for maintaining much of the local diversity of species within certain communities. Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Resource Survey had been carried out from 16th Aug to 6th Nov 2015 and one of the invertebrate by-catch organisms is sea star Stellaster childreni Gray, 1840. This study documents morphological characters and diet of the sea star, besides providing brief descriptions of the habitats based on particle size analysis and vessel log data sheet. A total of 217 individuals had been examined throughout this study. Fragments of flora and fauna were found in the gut including Mollusca (gastropod, bivalves, and scaphopods), sponge seagrass, and seaweed as well as benthic Foraminifera. Stellaster childreni were found at depth of 45 m to 185 m in the South China Sea off Sarawak Malaysia, with various sea bottom substrata. Approximately 41% of S. childreni were found at a mixture of sandy and muddy substratum, followed by mixture of sandy and coral (19.3%), muddy substratum (17.5%), coral substratum (11.5%), and sandy areas (10.6%). The widely distributed sea star on different types of sea beds suggested healthy deep sea ecosystem; thus Malaysia should explore further potential fisheries resources in the EEZ off Sarawak coast.
  7. Lee SY, Turjaman M, Mohamed R
    Trop Life Sci Res, 2018 Jul;29(2):13-28.
    PMID: 30112138 MyJurnal DOI: 10.21315/tlsr2018.29.2.2
    Indonesia is home to several tree taxa that are harvested for agarwood. This highly valuable oleoresin ironically was the cause for some species to become vulnerable due to gluttonous human activity. However, information on the genetic diversity of these endangered trees is limited. In this study, 28 specimens representing eight species from two genera, Aquilaria and Gyrinops, were collected from ex-situ and in-situ populations in Indonesia. Phylogenetic analysis conducted on DNA sequences of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the trnL-trnF intergenic spacer regions, revealed that Aquilaria and Gyrinops are paraphyletic when Aquilaria cumingiana is excluded. The phylogenetic analysis for ITS and trnL-trnF showed capability to categorise agarwood-producing species based on their regions: East Indonesia and West Indonesia, using Wallace's Line as the divider. In addition, we discuss challenges in species identification and taxonomy of agarwood-producing genera, and their conservation efforts in Indonesia.
  8. Lee SY, Fazlina N, Tye GJ
    Anal. Biochem., 2019 Sep 15;581:113352.
    PMID: 31260647 DOI: 10.1016/j.ab.2019.113352
    DNA-templated silver nanocluster (AgNC), a new promising fluorescence probe has gained importance in biosensing and bioimaging in recent years. We employed a label-free AgNC to detect an intracellular transcription factor known as forkhead box p3 (FOXP3), which is the master regulator of regulatory T cells (Tregs) suppressive function. We developed an optimized method for the detection of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) of FOXP3 by hybridizing AgNC and G-rich to the target FOXP3 mRNA of a MCF-7 cells. MCF-7 cells are chosen as a model as it readily expresses FOXP3. The hybridized samples were examined with UV illuminator and further verified with fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence microscope and flow cytometry. The successful hybridization of a three-way junction with AgNC, G-rich and mRNA FOXP3 target generated an improved fluorescence intensity with a spectral shift. We have successfully delivered the green fluorescing AgNC and G-rich into MCF-7 cells, producing a shift to red fluorescing cells corroborated by flow cytometry results. In summary, our approach enables the detection of intracellular FOXP3 nucleic acid and holds considerable potential in establishing a non-lethal intracellular detection system which would be crucial for the isolation of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) when combined with other cell surface markers.
  9. Fan L, Lee SY, Koay E, Harkensee C
    BMJ Case Rep, 2013;2013:bcr2013009558.
    PMID: 23608876 DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2013-009558
    Plasmodium knowlesi malaria is an uncommon, but highly prevalent parasitic infection in parts of Malaysia. This is the case of a 14-year-old Singaporean boy presenting to our emergency department with an 11-day history of fever following a school trip to Malaysia. Hepatosplenomegaly was the only clinical finding; laboratory tests showed thrombocytopaenia, lymphopaenia, mild anaemia and liver transaminitis. Specific malaria antigen tests were negative, but the peripheral blood film showed plasmodia with atypical features, with a parasite load of 0.5%. PCR confirmed the diagnosis of P knowlesi. The patient was successfully treated with chloroquine. The clinical course of P knowlesi malaria is indistinguishable from that of Plasmodium falciparum. This case highlights the importance of taking detailed travel history, careful examination of malaria blood films and judicious use of molecular techniques. Antigen tests alone may have missed a malaria diagnosis altogether, while blood film examination may wrongly identify the species as Plasmodium malariae or P falciparum. Third-generation PCR assays can be used to reliably identify P knowlesi.
  10. Chua LS, Lee SY, Abdullah N, Sarmidi MR
    Fitoterapia, 2012 Dec;83(8):1322-35.
    PMID: 22521793 DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.04.002
    Labisia pumila is a traditional herb widely used as post-partum medication for centuries. Recently, extensive researches have been carried out on the phytochemical identification, biological and toxicological studies for the herb. Phytochemicals found in the herbal extract showed high antioxidant properties, which were essential for various pharmacological activities. The significant findings are anti-estrogenic deficiency and -immunodeficiency diseases. Another finding that has considerable impact on natural product research is the contribution of L. pumila in promoting skin collagen synthesis. The performance of the herb as anti-aging agent due to natural aging process and accelerated by UV radiation was reviewed critically.
  11. Loh SY, Lee SY, Quek KF, Murray L
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2012;13(12):6337-42.
    PMID: 23464455
    BACKGROUND: Clinical trials on cancer subjects have one of the highest dropout rates. Barriers to recruitment range from patient-related, through institutional-related to staff-related factors. This paper highlights the low response rate and the recruitment barriers faced in our Qigong exercises trial.

    MATERIALS AND METHOD: The Qigong trial is a three-arm trial with a priori power size of 114 patients for 80% power. The University Malaya Medical Centre database showed a total of 1,933 patients from 2006-2010 and 751 patients met our inclusion criteria. These patients were approached via telephone interview. 131 out of 197 patients attended the trial and the final response rate was 48% (n=95/197).

    RESULTS: Multiple barriers were identified, and were regrouped as patient- related, clinician-related and/or institutional related. A major consistent barrier was logistic difficulty related to transportation and car parking at the Medical Centre. conclusions: All clinical trials must pay considerable attention to the recruitment process and it should even be piloted to identify potential barriers and facilitators to reduce attrition rate in trials.

  12. Loh SY, Chew SL, Lee SY, Quek KF
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2011;12(6):1497-501.
    PMID: 22126488
    INTRODUCTION: Today, cancer survivors have an added new role to self manage living with the medical, emotional and role tasks that can affect their quality of life (QOL). The purpose of the study was to evaluate the QOL of women two years after participating in a self-management intervention program.

    METHOD: The clinical trial was conducted at University Malaya Medical Centre between 2006 and 2008. The experimental group underwent a 4-week self management program, and the control group underwent usual care. Two years after the intervention, questionnaires were randomly posted out to the participants.

    RESULTS: A total of 51 questionnaires returned. There were statistically differences between groups in psychological, self-care, mobility and participation aspects in PIPP (p<0.05). The experimental group reported having higher confidence to live with breast cancer compared to control group (p<0.05). There were significant between-group changes in anxiety scores at T2 (immediately after intervention) to T4 (two years later), and the differences in anxiety scores within groups between time point T2 and T4 were significantly different (p<0.05).

    CONCLUSION: The SAMA program is potentially capable to serve as a model intervention for successful transition to survivorship following breast cancer treatment. The program needs to be further tested for efficacy in a larger trial involving more diverse populations of women completing breast cancer treatment.

  13. Muthu N, Lee SY, Phua KK, Bhore SJ
    Bioinformation, 2016;12(12):420-424.
    PMID: 28405126 DOI: 10.6026/97320630012420
    Plants are very complex organisms that produce medicinally important natural products. The Star-fruit producing plant (Averrhoa carambola L.) is a species of woody plant in the family Oxalidaceae native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; but, cultivated in many parts of the world. Star-fruits are popular tropical fruits and used commonly in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) in India, China, and Brazil to relieve ailments such as chronic headache, fever, cough, gastro-enteritis, diarrhoea, ringworm infections, and skin inflammations. However, this fruit contains high amount of oxalate, which is hazardous for uremic patients, and caramboxin (CBX), which is neurotoxic. The aim of this review is to highlight the nutritional, medicinal and toxicological traits of the star-fruits.
  14. Wen WX, Lee SY, Siang R, Koh RY
    Adv Ther, 2017 06;34(6):1245-1269.
    PMID: 28484954 DOI: 10.1007/s12325-017-0547-2
    Fibrosis is a potentially debilitating disease with high morbidity rates. It is estimated that half of all deaths that occur in the USA are attributed to fibrotic disorders. Fibrotic disorders are characterized primarily by disruption in the extracellular matrix deposition and breakdown equilibrium, leading to the accumulation of excessive amounts of extracellular matrix. Given the potentially high prevalence of fibrosis and the paucity of agents currently available for the treatment of this disease, there is an urgent need for the identification of drugs that can be utilized to treat the disease. Pentoxifylline is a methylxanthine derivative that is currently approved for the treatment of vascular diseases, in particular, claudication. Pentoxifylline has three main properties: improving the rheological properties of blood, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative. Recently, the effectiveness of pentoxifylline in the treatment of fibrosis via attenuating and reversing fibrotic lesions has been demonstrated in several clinical trials and animal studies. As a result of the limited availability of antifibrotic agents in the long-term treatment of fibrosis that can attenuate and even reverse fibrotic lesions effectively, it would be of particular importance to consider the potential clinical utility of pentoxifylline in the treatment of fibrosis. Thus, this paper discusses the evolving roles of pentoxifylline in the treatment of different types of fibrosis.
  15. Lee SY, Mediani A, Ismail IS, Maulidiani, Abas F
    BMC Complement Altern Med, 2019 Jan 07;19(1):7.
    PMID: 30616569 DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2413-4
    BACKGROUND: Neptunia oleracea is a plant cultivated as vegetable in Southeast Asia. Previous works have revealed the potential of this plant as a source of natural antioxidants and α-glucosidase inhibitors. Continuing our interest on this plant, the present work is focused in identification of the bioactive compounds from different polarity fractions of N. oleracea, namely hexane (HF), chloroform (CF), ethyl acetate (EF) and methanol (MF).

    METHODS: The N. oleracea fractions were obtained using solid phase extraction (SPE). A metabolomics approach that coupled the use of proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) with multivariate data analysis (MVDA) was applied to distinguish the metabolite variations among the N. oleracea fractions, as well as to assess the correlation between metabolite variation and the studied bioactivities (DPPH free radical scavenging and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities). The bioactive fractions were then subjected to ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) analysis to profile and identify the potential bioactive constituents.

    RESULTS: The principal component analysis (PCA) discriminated EF and MF from the other fractions with the higher distributions of phenolics. Partial least squares (PLS) analysis revealed a strong correlation between the phenolics and the studied bioactivities in the EF and the MF. The UHPLC-MS/MS profiling of EF and MF had tentatively identified the phenolics present. Together with some non-phenolic metabolites, a total of 37 metabolites were tentatively assigned.

    CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this work supported that N. oleracea is a rich source of phenolics that can be potential antioxidants and α-glucosidase inhibitors for the management of diabetes. To our knowledge, this study is the first report on the metabolite-bioactivity correlation and UHPLC-MS/MS analysis of N. oleracea fractions.

  16. Liew PS, Lertanantawong B, Lee SY, Manickam R, Lee YH, Surareungchai W
    Talanta, 2015 Jul 1;139:167-73.
    PMID: 25882423 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2015.02.054
    Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes cholera, a diarrheal disease. Cholera is widespread in poor, under-developed or disaster-hit countries that have poor water sanitation. Hence, a rapid detection method for V. cholerae in the field under these resource-limited settings is required. In this paper, we describe the development of an electrochemical genosensor assay using lyophilized gold nanoparticles/latex microsphere (AuNPs-PSA) reporter label. The reporter label mixture was prepared by lyophilization of AuNPs-PSA-avidin conjugate with different types of stabilizers. The best stabilizer was 5% sorbitol, which was able to preserve the dried conjugate for up to 30 days. Three methods of DNA hybridization were compared and the one-step sandwich hybridization method was chosen as it was fastest and highly specific. The performance of the assay using the lyophilized reagents was comparable to the wet form for detection of 1aM to 1fM of linear target DNA. The assay was highly specific for V. cholerae, with a detection limit of 1fM of PCR products. The ability of the sensor is to detect LAMP products as low as 50ngµl(-1). The novel lyophilized AuNPs-PSA-avidin reporter label with electrochemical genosensor detection could facilitate the rapid on-site detection of V. cholerae.
  17. Lee SY, Hairul Bahara NH, Choong YS, Lim TS, Tye GJ
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2014 Nov 01;433:183-188.
    PMID: 25129336 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2014.07.033
    DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (AgNC) are a class of subnanometer sized fluorophores with good photostability and brightness. It has been applied as a diagnostic tool mainly for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) detection. Integration of DNA oligomers to generate AgNCs is interesting as varying DNA sequences can result in different fluorescence spectra. This allows a simple fluorescence shifting effect to occur upon DNA hybridization with the hybridization efficiency being a pronominal factor for successful shifting. The ability to shift the fluorescence spectra as a result of hybridization overcomes the issue of background intensities in most fluorescent based assays. Here we describe an optimized method for the detection of single-stranded and double-stranded synthetic forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) target by hybridization with the DNA fluorescence shift sensor. The system forms a three-way junction by successful hybridization of AgNC, G-rich strand (G-rich) to the target DNA, which generated a shift in fluorescence spectra with a marked increase in fluorescence intensity. The DNA fluorescence shift sensor presents a rapid and specific alternative to conventional DNA detection.
  18. Chua LS, Latiff NA, Lee SY, Lee CT, Sarmidi MR, Aziz RA
    Food Chem, 2011 Aug 1;127(3):1186-92.
    PMID: 25214112 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.01.122
    Both total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) of Labisia pumila extracts were determined spectrophotometrically. L. pumila leaves extracted in 60% methanol (MeOH) were fractionated on C18 cartridge and the antioxidant property of each fraction was determined by measuring free radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity. The 40% MeOH fraction exhibited the highest scavenging activity. Nine flavonols (quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol), two flavanols (catechin and epigallocatechin) and nine phenolic acids were identified from this active fraction by UPLC-ESI-MS/MS, and confirmed by comparison with the mass spectra of standard aglycones, theoretical fragments generated from MS Fragmenter software, and literature values.
  19. Loh SY, Ong L, Ng LL, Chew SL, Lee SY, Boniface G
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2011;12(6):1489-95.
    PMID: 22126487
    BACKGROUND: Increasing survivorship warrants evidence-based intervention to help women manage living effectively with breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors may have many medical and psychosocial issues in the post- treatment period. Qualitative research was carried out to assess survivors' overall experience and if intervention helps in survivorship care. This paper reports exploration of benefit-findings from participation in an earlier 4-week self management intervention.

    METHODS: We used a grounded theory approach to analyze three focus groups conducted between May and August 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. We used random sampling to recruit the informants (n=21), all of whom had earlier participated in the 4 week self-management program held two years previously.

    FINDINGS: The women reported positive experience and growth with the self management program. Self-efficacy appears as an important underlying theme for successful experiences. The lack of proactive plans to provide bereavement support to surviving women was a key negative experience.

    CONCLUSION: The intervention successfully brought women together to work in close partnership with health professionals on ways to self manage the medical, emotional and role task as they live indefinitely with breast cancer, a new chronic illness. The beneficial effect from the 4 week intervention was expressed by women even at 2 years after the program. Having successfully developed a tightly knitted group, a major oversight was the lack of professional support on bereavement for grieving members when close friends passed away.

  20. Lee SY, Ng WL, Mahat MN, Nazre M, Mohamed R
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154631.
    PMID: 27128309 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154631
    The identification of Aquilaria species from their resinous non-wood product, the agarwood, is challenging as conventional techniques alone are unable to ascertain the species origin. Aquilaria is a highly protected species due to the excessive exploitation of its precious agarwood. Here, we applied the DNA barcoding technique to generate barcode sequences for Aquilaria species and later applied the barcodes to identify the source species of agarwood found in the market. We developed a reference DNA barcode library using eight candidate barcode loci (matK, rbcL, rpoB, rpoC1, psbA-trnH, trnL-trnF, ITS, and ITS2) amplified from 24 leaf accessions of seven Aquilaria species obtained from living trees. Our results indicated that all single barcodes can be easily amplified and sequenced with the selected primers. The combination of trnL-trnF+ITS and trnL-trnF+ITS2 yielded the greatest species resolution using the least number of loci combination, while matK+trnL-trnF+ITS showed potential in detecting the geographical origins of Aquilaria species. We propose trnL-trnF+ITS2 as the best candidate barcode for Aquilaria as ITS2 has a shorter sequence length compared to ITS, which eases PCR amplification especially when using degraded DNA samples such as those extracted from processed agarwood products. A blind test conducted on eight agarwood samples in different forms using the proposed barcode combination proved successful in their identification up to the species level. Such potential of DNA barcoding in identifying the source species of agarwood will contribute to the international timber trade control, by providing an effective method for species identification and product authentication.
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