Development of a method for the genetic identification of mussel species belonging to Mytilus, Perna, Aulacomya, and other genera

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8461-70. doi: 10.1021/jf061400u.


Legislation regarding the labeling of processed products is an important issue in the protection of consumer rights. This labeling is especially important in products that cannot be identified on the basis of their morphological characters, because these are removed from the animal in the transformation process. The goal of this study was the identification of mussel species using Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and Forensically Informative Nucleotide Sequencing (FINS) methodologies. The molecular marker selected was 18S rDNA (nuclear small-subunit rDNA gene), which allows identification at the genus level and at the species level in some cases. The genera included in this study were Mytilus, Perna, Aulacomya, Semimytilus, Brachidontes, Choromytilus, and Perumytilus. Different markers were used for genetic identification at the species level. To identify the species included in the genus Perna and Choromytilus, a fragment of ITS 1 (Internal Transcribed Spacer 1) was amplified by multiplex PCR and digested with restrictases. The species of Mytilus were identified by length polymorphism and RFLP of the polyphenolic adhesive protein gene. This methodology was validated with products manufactured in the authors' pilot plant and applied to commercial samples. Therefore, this sequential method can be completely or partially used to determine the mussel genus or species present in any food product.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bivalvia / classification*
  • Bivalvia / genetics*
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes / metabolism
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Protein Subunits / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics


  • Protein Subunits
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes