DNA Barcoding as a Reliable Method for the Authentication of Commercial Seafood Products

Silvia Nicolè1, Enrico Negrisolo2, Giulia Eccher1, Roberto Mantovani1, Tomaso Patarnello2, David L. Erickson3, W. John Kress3 and Gianni Barcaccia1*

1Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics, Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Campus of Agripolis, Viale dell’Università 16, IT-35020 Legnaro, Italy

2Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padova, Campus of Agripolis, Viale dell’Università 16, IT-35020 Legnaro, Italy
3Department of Botany and Laboratories of Analytical Biology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA

Article history:

Received January 14, 2011
Accepted February 7, 2012

Key words:

DNA barcoding, genetic traceability, BOLD, seafood, mislabeling


Animal DNA barcoding allows researchers to identify different species by analyzing a short nucleotide sequence, typically the mitochondrial gene cox1. In this paper, we use DNA barcoding to genetically identify seafood samples that were purchased from various locations throughout Italy. We adopted a multi-locus approach to analyze the cob, 16S-rDNA and cox1 genes, and compared our sequences to reference sequences in the BOLD and GenBank online databases. Our method is a rapid and robust technique that can be used to genetically identify crustaceans, mollusks and fishes. This approach could be applied in the future for conservation, particularly for monitoring illegal trade of protected and endangered species. Additionally, this method could be used for authentication in order to detect mislabeling of commercially processed seafood.

*Corresponding author: 
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