Research Article

Prospective molecular markers for the identification of illegally traded angelsharks (Squatina) and dolphin (Sotalia guianensis)

Published: November 24, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (4) : 9710-9717 DOI: 10.4238/2014.November.24.2

Abstract

Endangered angelsharks and a protected dolphin species are illegally traded in Brazil. In this study, we determined prospective molecular markers for detecting these species in the trade of angelshark carcasses and ‘dolphin’ eyeball amulets. We compiled publicly available as well as new and unpublished cytochrome b (cyt b) DNA sequences for species involved in these trades. These sequences were digested in silico using restriction enzymes. We then described prospective polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism markers for distinguishing between protected species and the species whose trade was legally allowed in these two trade groups. The prospective marker for identifying angelshark carcasses consists of cyt b PCR and digestion by BstXI, BsgI, BspMI, BsrDI, and HaeII restriction enzymes. The prospective marker for identifying eyeball amulets consists of cyt b PCR and digestion by ApoI, BtsI, HindII, BsaAI, BplI, and SspI restriction enzymes. This is the first study to deposit in GenBank cyt b sequences for the angelshark species Squatina argentina, Squatina guggenheim, and Squatina occulta. Moreover, the S. argentina haplotype is the first DNA sequence for this species deposited in GenBank.

Endangered angelsharks and a protected dolphin species are illegally traded in Brazil. In this study, we determined prospective molecular markers for detecting these species in the trade of angelshark carcasses and ‘dolphin’ eyeball amulets. We compiled publicly available as well as new and unpublished cytochrome b (cyt b) DNA sequences for species involved in these trades. These sequences were digested in silico using restriction enzymes. We then described prospective polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism markers for distinguishing between protected species and the species whose trade was legally allowed in these two trade groups. The prospective marker for identifying angelshark carcasses consists of cyt b PCR and digestion by BstXI, BsgI, BspMI, BsrDI, and HaeII restriction enzymes. The prospective marker for identifying eyeball amulets consists of cyt b PCR and digestion by ApoI, BtsI, HindII, BsaAI, BplI, and SspI restriction enzymes. This is the first study to deposit in GenBank cyt b sequences for the angelshark species Squatina argentina, Squatina guggenheim, and Squatina occulta. Moreover, the S. argentina haplotype is the first DNA sequence for this species deposited in GenBank.