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DNA barcoding based identification of Hippophae species and authentication of commercial products by high resolution melting analysis

Liu, Yue, Xiang, Li, Zhang, Yi, Lai, Xianrong, Xiong, Chao, Li, Jingjian, Su, Yanyan, Sun, Wei, Chen, Shilin
Food chemistry 2018 v.242 pp. 62-67
DNA barcoding, Hippophae rhamnoides, adulterated products, fraud, functional foods, internal transcribed spacers, melting, polymerase chain reaction
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae), an ancient crop with modern virtues, is increasingly consumed in source of foods and nutraceuticals. The growing demand leads to the adulteration of commercial sea buckthorn products, which is a common form of food fraud. Herein, a high resolution melting assay, targeting a DNA barcoding region of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) (Bar-HRM) was developed to identify the seven native Chinese Hippophae species, and to authenticate commercial sea buckthorn products. Melting data from the HRM assay demonstrated that all Hippophae species could be clearly distinguished. Then, application to commercial sea buckthorn products indicated the existence of adulterants or contamination, further confirmed using Sanger sequencing results for PCR products from HRM. The Bar-HRM technique proposed in this work could provide a method for regulatory agencies, promoting consumers trust, and raise the quality and safety of sea buckthorn products.