Acta Vet. Brno 2019, 88: 323-328

Identification of tuna species Thunnus albacares and Katsuwonus pelamis in canned products by real-time PCR method

Pavel Krčmář1, Zora Piskatá1, Eliška Servusová1,2

1Veterinary Research Institute Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Meat Hygiene and Technology, Brno, Czech Republic

Received April 1, 2019
Accepted June 13, 2019

Tuna species are a popular food among consumers. They are mostly sold as heat-processed canned products on the market. Different quality and price of tuna species can lead the producer to the adulteration of food products. The main difficulties in developing a method for species identification in these fish is the high similarity of DNA sequences among close relative fish species. All complete mitochondrial DNA sequences of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) were compared to all other mitochondrial DNA sequences of tuna fish deposited in the GenBank. The most variable regions within species were determined and primers and probes were designed in this region for the species-specific DNA amplification of skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna. Moreover, to check the content of amplifiable DNA of fish (namely tuna) in the sample, primers and a probe of mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene in the region of conservative sequence were designed. Real time PCR methods were verified by investigating 51 samples of canned tuna with the declared content of tuna species from the market; the species was confirmed in all tested samples. This method was designed to be suitable for the determination of DNA sequences especially in highly heat treated products.


This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (grants no. QJ1530272 and RO0518).


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