As the global market for fisheries and aquaculture products expands, mislabeling of these products has become a growing concern in the food safety arena. Molecular species identification techniques hold the potential for rapid, accurate assessment of proper labeling. Here we developed and evaluated DNA barcodes for use in differentiating United States domestic and imported catfish species. First, we sequenced 651 base-pair barcodes from the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene from individuals of 9 species (and an Ictalurid hybrid) of domestic and imported catfish in accordance with standard DNA barcoding protocols. These included domestic Ictalurid catfish, and representative imported species from the families of Clariidae and Pangasiidae. Alignment of individual sequences from within a given species revealed highly consistent barcodes (98% similarity on average). These alignments allowed the development and analyses of consensus barcode sequences for each species and comparison with limited sequences in public databases (GenBank and Barcode of Life Data Systems). Validation tests carried out in blinded studies and with commercially purchased catfish samples (both frozen and fresh) revealed the reliability of DNA barcoding for differentiating between these catfish species. The developed protocols and consensus barcodes are valuable resources as increasing market and governmental scrutiny is placed on catfish and other fisheries and aquaculture products labeling in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)