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Gene Reports
Vol. 8, 2017, Pages: 144-149

Fish product mislabeling identified in the Russian far east using DNA barcoding

A.Nedunoori, S.V.Turanov, Yu.Ph. Kartavtsev

National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok 690041, Russia.


DNA barcoding techniques combined with the BOLD (www.boldsystems.org) identification engine and the locally assembled barcode library were applied to investigate mislabeling of 22 specimens of frozen fish and fillets from food stores. Processed fish (fillets) and whole fish exemplars, sold under the labels Halibut, Flounder, Cod, Walleye Pollock, and Tilapia, from two food/fish stores of Vladivostok, Russia were analyzed. Based on the BOLD identification system, as well as using the local sequence reference library, it was found that four different species representing three genera of the family Pleuronectidae were labeled at two stores by the common name “flounder”. In addition, in one case walleye pollock was mislabeled as cod fillet. Tilapia fillets were not identified accurately due to the lack of a comprehensive comparative data, i.e. reference library. Some cases of labeling were also non-compliant with the rules of Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority's (SFPA), Russian Federation (Information notice on Labeling Changes) that raises questions regarding risk assessment and risk management. The necessity of additional studies to trace the major sources and stages of seafood trade, where mislabeling is most likely to occur, has become evident.

Keywords: DNA barcoding, Sea food substitution, Fish fillets, Species identification, Mislabeling, Molecular phylogeny, Sequence divergence, Co-1mtDNA, Taxonomy.

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