Advances in DNA-Based Techniques for the Detection of Seafood Species Substitution on the Commercial Market

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Increased worldwide trade and processing of seafood has increased the potential for species substitution on the commercial market. To detect and prevent species substitution, several deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based methods have been developed that can be used to identify species in a variety of food types. For large-scale applications, such as regulatory screening, these methods must be rapid, cost-effective, reliable, and have high potential for automation. This review highlights recent technological advances in DNA-based identification methods, with a focus on seafood species identification in automated, high-throughput settings. Advances in DNA isolation methods include silica-based columns for use in high-throughput operations and magnetic bead particles for increased and targeted recovery of DNA. The three most widely used methods for seafood species identification (polymerase chain reaction [PCR] sequencing, PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism, and species-specific PCR) will be discussed, with a focus on the incorporation of technologies such as rapid PCR cycling, microfluidic chips, and real-time PCR. Emerging methods, including DNA microarrays and next-generation sequencing will also be explored for their potential to identify seafood species on a large scale. Overall, many of the technological advances discussed here offer complementary properties that will enable species identification in a variety of settings and with a range of products.


This article was originally published in Journal of Laboratory Automation, volume 16, issue 4, in 2011. DOI: 10.1016/j.jala.2010.07.004

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