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DNA Barcoding as a Tool for the Identification of Illegally Traded Wildlife Products

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DNA Barcoding as a Tool for the Identification of Illegally Traded Wildlife Products

Nougoue, Alphonse Romuald (2012) DNA Barcoding as a Tool for the Identification of Illegally Traded Wildlife Products. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The rapid identification of species using DNA barcoding technology could facilitate the monitoring of the trade in wildlife products. A short fragment of mitochondrial DNA sequence has been established as a standard DNA barcode for animal species identification. We tested the utility of these DNA barcodes using taxonomically verified samples obtained from two Canadian Zoos. Then we tested the feasibility of getting DNA barcode sequences from various “field samples” that would mimic the conditions of confiscated wildlife products. We also asked whether designing more specific primers for DNA amplification might increase the success rate of obtaining DNA barcode sequences from commonly hunted mammalian species. Five of the major animal orders involved in the wildlife trade were included in our study. Our results show that we were able to obtain high quality DNA barcode sequences from almost all samples. We were able to amplify DNA from the blood samples from the Zoos and to get high quality DNA from fresh, smoked and processed meat samples purchased from grocery stores and restaurants. Only a few samples, specifically old hair from dried animal skins, failed to yield amplifiable DNA. We conclude that: (i) DNA barcodes provide a rapid and reliable method for species identification when applied to wildlife trade monitoring, and (ii) this technique is applicable to samples collected under field conditions, such as those that might be obtained when monitoring the bushmeat trade

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Nougoue, Alphonse Romuald
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Biology
Date:20 August 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hickey, Donal
ID Code:974588
Deposited By:ALPHONSE ROMUAL NOUGOUE
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 14:25
Last Modified:15 Nov 2012 16:55
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