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Fish and seafood traceability based on AFLP markers: elaboration of a species database
Maldinia, M.; Marzano, F.N.; González Fortes, G.; Papa, R.; Gandolfia, G. (2006). Fish and seafood traceability based on AFLP markers: elaboration of a species database. Aquaculture 261(2): 487-494
In: Aquaculture. Elsevier: Amsterdam; London; New York; Oxford; Tokyo. ISSN 0044-8486, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Biotechnology; Food; Safety; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Maldinia, M.
  • Marzano, F.N.
  • González Fortes, G.
  • Papa, R.
  • Gandolfia, G.

    Several sociological, health and conservation arguments request a correct labelling of seafood products. Nowadays, molecular genetics is a useful tool for food chain traceability, particularly in regards to species identification. Among the variety of PCR-based molecular markers, AFLPs (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms) have recently been used to investigate genomes of different complexities. This paper assesses the potential use of the AFLP technology to determine fish and seafood species in processed commercial products and domestic stocks. In particular a species database of fish, molluscs and crustaceans has been created with the aim to identify species of origin of seafood products by previously defined AFLP patterns. Different EcoRI and TaqI primer combinations were selected from 20 screened combinations in relation to the total number of detected fragments and polymorphic ones. Most informative combinations were E32/T32, E32/T33, E33/T33, E33/T37, E33/T38, E40/T33, E40/T37, E42/T32, E42/T37. The comparison of informative markers between unknown frozen or fresh products and reference samples has enabled the accurate identification of 32 different species. The taxonomic characterization has been performed either at the species or at the population level depending on the number of available individuals. AFLP variation at the population level is particularly helpful for the stock traceability of domestic strains. Size homoplasy was also investigated in one species to assess the rate of non-homologous comigrating fragments and to detect additional polymorphic markers to be used in stock identification. Results of Band Sharing Index (BSI) and percentage of polymorphic fragments are presented and are discussed in relation to the wide applicability of AFLPs both for fish and seafood safety and authenticity testing in such fields as food traceability and restocking management. The database, available upon request at, will be continuously updated.

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