Researchers have a developed a multiplex PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay to identify beef, pork, horse and poultry (chicken, turkey) and determine these species quantitatively in meat products. The qualitative assay uses a mitochondrial cytochrome b gene marker. The quantitative assay uses singlecopy markers from chromosomal genes (cyclic-GMP-phosphodiesterase gene for cattle, beta-actin gene for pig, interleukin-2 gene for chicken), and the normaliser is from the myostatin gene for mammals and poultry. The reliability of both methods was confirmed by analysing of mixed samples prepared with or without heat treatment. The assay was tested with 14 meat products from the Czech retail market with two having undeclared species and another 4 products giving an incorrect quantitative declaration.
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