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Nuclear DNA-based Species Determination and DNA Quantification Assay for Common Poultry Species

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2014
6 pages
This article reports on a project that developed a multiplex assay based on TaqMan® real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) for species-specific detection and quantification of chicken (Gallus gallus), duck (Anas platyrhynchos), and turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) nuclear DNA.
DNA testing for food authentication and quality control requires sensitive species-specific quantification of nuclear DNA from complex and unknown biological sources. The multiplex assay developed in the current project is able to accurately detect very low quantities of species-specific DNA from single or multispecies sample mixtures; its minimum effective quantification range is 5 to 50 pg of starting DNA material. In addition to its use in food fraudulence cases, the project validated the assay using simulated forensic sample conditions to demonstrate its utility in forensic investigations. Despite treatment with potent inhibitors such as hematin and humic acid, and degradation of template DNA by DNase, the assay was still able to robustly detect and quantify DNA from each of the three poultry species in mixed samples. The efficient species determination and accurate DNA quantification will help reduce fraudulent food labeling and facilitate downstream DNA analysis for genetic identification and traceability. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: December 1, 2014