DNA from the mitochondria – cell organelles – is ideal for distinguishing between species. One of its components in particular, cytochrome b, is a genetic marker that scientists use to establish relationships between genera and families, and is also used by some forensic laboratories to identify animals that appear at crime scenes (cats or insects, for example).
Now, for the first time, researchers from the National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Shellfish (ANFACO-CECOPESCA, Spain) have used this technique in order to genetically identify small pelagic (non-coastal) species, such as sardines and horse mackerel. This study was supported by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and Spain's Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM).
"These molecular tools represent a great step forward for the sector, since they enable fisheries imports to be monitored and tracked, and also ensure they are correctly labelled", Montserrat Espiñeira, a biologist for ANFACO-CECOPESCA and lead researcher of the study, tells SINC.
By using this method, the team was able to identify more than 20 species from the sardine group (genera such as Sardina, Sardinella, Clupea, Ophistonoma and Ilisha) and a similar number of horse mackerel species (Trachurus, Caranx, Mullus, Rastrelliger and others), originating from seas all over the world.
The methodology involved gathering a sample of mitochondrial DNA from the fish (even if it was canned or processed), amplifying a fragment of cytochrome b (using a polymerase chain reaction – PCR) and, lastly, carrying out a phylogenetic analysis by obtaining a "forensically informative nucleotide sequencing" (FINS).
The research on the sardines was published this month in the journal European Food Research and Technology, while the one on the horse mackerel was issued in March in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The researchers are now focusing on analysing the distinct organoleptic, microbiological, physical-chemical and nutritional properties of the species analysed, and are also looking into whether some currently unexploited species could be of interest from a consumer perspective. "The end goal is to improve the management of fisheries resources and ensure they are sustainably exploited", explains Espiñeira.
The team is also developing rapid molecular identification methodologies (based on the Real Time-PCR technique), which will make it possible to distinguish between the most commercially-valuable small pelagic fish species – the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), the European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) and the main species of horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) – simply and in less than three hours.
Fátima C. Lago, Beatriz Herrero, Juan M. Vieites, Montserrat Espiñeira. "FINS methodology to identification of sardines and related species in canned products and detection of mixture by means of SNP analysis systems". European Food Research and Technology, May 2011 (on line). DOI: 10.1007/s00217-011-1481-1.
Ftima C. Lago, Beatriz Herrero, Juan M. Vieites, Montserrat Espiñeira. "Genetic Identification of Horse Mackerel and Related Species in Seafood Products by Means of Forensically Informative Nucleotide Sequencing Methodology". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59 (6): 2223�, March 2011. DOI: 10.1021/jf104505q.
SINC | EurekAlert!
The world's tiniest first responders
21.06.2018 | University of Southern California
A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå
21.06.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences