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Keywords:

  • Identification of whale species;
  • sarcoplasmic proteins;
  • liquid chromatographic profiles;
  • relative retention time;
  • total area;
  • absorption spectra

Abstract

Liquid chromatography (LC) was applied to identify whale species by analyzing water-soluble sarcoplasmic proteins in skeletal muscles. Twenty-five samples from four baleen whale species (fin whale, sei whale, Bryde's whale, and minke whale) and eight toothed whale species (sperm whale, Baird's beaked whale, short-finned pilot whale, Dall's porpoise, northern right whale dolphin, Pacific white-sided dolphin, common dolphin, and striped dolphin) were analyzed. Water-soluble sarcoplasmic proteins were extracted from each sample and analyzed using a UV-VIS spectrophotometric detector at 280 nm and a pho-todiode array detector. The chromatographic profiles of each sample showed distinctive qualitative and quantitative characteristics for each whale species, making species identification possible. A photodiode array detector was useful for further accurate identification of whale species by obtaining the absorption spectra of separated protein peaks. These results suggest that the LC method is readily applicable to rapid, simple, and reliable identification of whale species.