Conservation Genetics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 95–103 | Cite as

Use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms to identify sea turtle eggs and cooked meats to species

  • M. Katherine Moore
  • John A. Bemiss
  • Susan M. Rice
  • Joseph M. Quattro
  • Cheryl M. Woodley


One of the many threats to sea turtlepopulations is the take of turtles and theireggs for consumption and sale. Improved speciesidentification methods for sea turtle eggs andcooked meats would facilitate prosecution ofthose involved. Fatty acid-based methods toidentify eggs cannot resolve loggerheads andthe two ridley species. Protein-based methodsare not applicable to eggs or cooked meat. Wepresent methods to extract DNA from turtle eggand cooked meat and to produce diagnosticrestriction fragment length polymorphismpatterns in the cytochrome b region of themitochondrial DNA. This method works on DNAfrom any tissue, and provides wildlife lawenforcement another tool to combat illegal takeof endangered species.

forensic mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism sea turtles species identification 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Katherine Moore
    • 1
  • John A. Bemiss
    • 1
  • Susan M. Rice
    • 2
  • Joseph M. Quattro
    • 3
  • Cheryl M. Woodley
    • 1
  1. 1.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean ScienceCenter for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research at CharlestonCharlestonSC
  2. 2.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceEastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife RefugeCape CharlesVA
  3. 3.Department of Biological Sciences, Baruch InstituteSchool of the Environment, Program in Marine Science, University of South CarolinaColumbiaSC

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