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Application of AFLP markers in fishery and seafood

A. Moradi


Several sociological, health and conservation arguments request acorrect labelling of seafood products and fish species. Nowadays, moleculargenetics is a useful tool for food chain traceability, particularly in regardsto species identification. Among the variety of PCRbased molecular markers,AFLPs (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms) have recently been used toinvestigate genomes of different complexities. This paper assesses thepotential use of the AFLP technology to determine fish and seafood species inprocessed commercial products, domestic stocks and research in the field ofmolecular ecology. In particular a species database of fish, molluscs andcrustaceans has been created with the aim to identify species of origin ofseafood products by previously defined AFLP patterns. Researchers in the fieldof molecular ecology and evolution require versatile and low-cost genetictyping methods. The AFLP method was introduced 20 years ago and shows manyfeatures that fulfil these requirements. With good quality genomic DNA at hand,it is relatively easy to generate anonymous multilocus DNA profiles in mostspecies and the start-up time before data can be generated is often less than aweek. These aspects include classical problems such as studies of populationgenetic structure and phylogenetic reconstructions, and also new challengessuch as finding markers for genes governing adaptations in wild populations andmodifications of the protocol that makes it possible to measure expressionvariation of multiple genes (cDNA-AFLP) and the distribution of DNAmethylation. We hope this review will help molecular ecologists to identifywhen AFLP is likely to be superior to other more established methods, such asmicrosatellites, SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) analyses and multigeneDNA sequencing.

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