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J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jan 8;62(1):198-205. doi: 10.1021/jf403545m. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Pyrosequencing as a tool for rapid fish species identification and commercial fraud detection.

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Research & Innovation Department, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie , Viale dell'Università 10, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy.


The increased consumption of fish products, as well as the occurrence of exotic fish species in the Mediterranean Sea and in the fish market, has increased the risk of commercial fraud. Furthermore, the great amount of processed seafood products has greatly limited the application of classic identification systems. DNA-based identification allows a clear and unambiguous detection of polymorphisms between species, permitting differentiation and identification of both commercial fraud and introduction of species with potential toxic effects on humans. In this study, a novel DNA-based approach for differentiation of fish species based on pyrosequencing technology has been developed. Raw and processed fish products were tested, and up to 25 species of fish belonging to Clupeiformes and Pleuronectiformes groups were uniquely and rapidly identified. The proper identification based on short and unique genetic sequence signatures demonstrates that this approach is promising and cost-effective for large-scale surveys.


Clupeiformes; Pleuronectiformes; commercial fraud; fish species identification; pyrosequencing

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