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Authentication of raw and processed tuna from Indonesian markets using DNA barcoding, nuclear gene and character-based approach

Abdullah, Asadatun, Rehbein, Hartmut
European food research & technology 2014 v.239 no.4 pp. 695-706
DNA barcoding, Thunnus, analytical methods, cytochrome-c oxidase, fisheries, food safety, genes, genetic markers, markets, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, rhodopsin, seafoods, tuna
Establishing seafood authentication methods is an important task for fisheries research laboratories and food control authorities. Nowadays, the extent of fish species substitution is suspected being greater than ever before in commercial markets. In order to provide reliable polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based authentication systems for tunas, we collected and analyzed authentic tuna reference samples and tuna-food products from Indonesian markets. Our analytical methods mainly relied on identification using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, as a genetic marker for “DNA barcoding,” as well as the rhodopsin (RH1) gene as a nuclear marker. Additionally, we identified species-specific nucleotide diagnostic positions (characters) to complete the results obtained basic local alignment search (BLAST) and phylogenetic analysis. Authentication results of tuna-food products showed relatively successful amplification for the COI gene; RH1 acted as an alternative solution for some of the samples, which had failed to react in COI-PCR. Species of the genus Thunnus could not be unambiguously differentiated by BLAST and phylogenetic analysis (neighbor-joining tree) in all cases due to the high similarity of the COI sequences. However, the character-based identification method was found to be helpful for species assignment in case of tuna-food products. Therefore, our findings demonstrated that the COI gene could be more reliable used as a tool for Indonesian commercial tuna products authentication, if the sequencing results were combined with the character-based identification using differences at certain nucleotide positions.