A potential method for discriminating between tissue from the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) and the American lobster (H. americanus)

Hughes, G.; Beaumont, A.R.

Crustaceana 77(3): 371-376


ISSN/ISBN: 0011-216X
DOI: 10.1163/1568540041181484
Accession: 004021454

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This article reports on species-specific rapid amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers for distinguishing between DNA from Homarus americanus and H. gammarus tissues. Primer sequences detected suitable as species-specific markers were OPR-01, OPR-08 and OPR-20. Primer OPR-01 amplified a 410 bp band from all 20 H. americanus samples tested and from 2 H. gammarus samples, both from Norfolk. The second primer, OPR-08, produced a 510 bp fragment that was specific to H. americanus and was present in 18 of the 20 samples. In contrast, OPR-20 failed to amplify any PCR products from H. americanus DNA but amplified up to 20 bands (ranging from 375 to 1500 bp) from H. gammarus DNA. The results indicated that DNA from Homarus spp. can be distinguished using the RAPD method. The safest test would be to screen PCR products from all three primers because the expected OPR-01410 and OPR-08510 PCR products from H. americanus were occasionally difficult to detect. Further development of the methodology, such as multiplex PCR, and the use of a much larger sample of H. americanus is required before results from these RAPD products could be used as forensic evidence, but these tests have the potential to a rapid, cheap, reliable and effective species-specific marker.