Identification of razor clams Ensis arcuatus and Ensis siliqua by PCR–RFLP analysis of ITS1 region


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ABSTRACT: Ensis arcuatus and Ensis siliqua are the most economically important species of razor clams in the European Union. Due to similarities between their shell morphology, and the differing retail value, these species are often misidentified. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an appropriate protocol to allow accurate differentiation between these species of razor clam in order to protect consumer rights, avoid commercial fraud (whether intentional or unintentional), and to enforce labeling and safety regulations. With the aim of developing a rapid and reliable method of differentiation, individuals of E. arcuatus and of E. siliqua were examined by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) using the internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1). A species-specific restriction endonuclease pattern was found with the enzyme KspI for both species, allowing their exact identification. Thus, this work provides a simple, reliable and rapid protocol for accurate discrimination between E. arcuatus and E. siliqua, which proves useful for traceability and enabling the enforcement of labeling regulations.