European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 240, Issue 6, pp 1129–1133 | Cite as

Identification of four Donax species by PCR–RFLP analysis of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)

  • A. Nantón
  • R. Freire
  • A. Arias-Pérez
  • M. B. Gaspar
  • J. Méndez
Original Paper


Four Donax species, D. semistriatus, D. trunculus, D. variegatus and D. vittatus, are found on European coasts. Nevertheless, despite their economic importance there is not a reliable method to differentiate these species independently of their size or condition. Such a method could help to protect consumer rights and avoid commercial fraud due to the replacement of valuable species by less valuable ones with similar morphological traits. In this work, the sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I region was examined in individuals of these species to identify restriction site variation and develop polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphisms assays. Species-specific restriction endonuclease patterns were found with the enzymes AluI, HaeIII and MspI, allowing an exact identification of Donax species. This methodology provides simple, reliable and cost-effective identification of four Donax species and may be useful to prevent commercial fraud and to increase food traceability.


Donax species Species identification PCR–RFLP COI 



We thank Jose García for his technical assistance in the laboratory and Luisa Martínez for her constructive and valuable comments. This work was supported by the Consellería de Economía e Industria (Xunta de Galicia) through project 10MMA103013 and by Ministerio de Educación of Spain through a predoctoral FPU fellowship awarded to Ana Nantón.

Conflict of interest


Compliance with Ethics Requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Nantón
    • 1
  • R. Freire
    • 1
  • A. Arias-Pérez
    • 1
  • M. B. Gaspar
    • 2
  • J. Méndez
    • 1
  1. 1.Grupo Xenomar, Departamento de Bioloxía Celular e Molecular, Facultade de CienciasUniversidade da CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, I. P.OlhãoPortugal

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