Veterinary World


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Copyright: The authors. This article is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Original Research (Published online : 12-02-2013)

4. Characterization of 12S rRNA gene for meat identification of common wild and domestic small herbivores as an aid to wildlife forensic - Nidhi Rajput, A.B. Shrivastav, S.N.S. Parmar, Rakesh Ranjan, Sanjeev Singh and E. Joseph

Vet World. 2013; 6(5): 254-259

Aim: Chital and sambar are the common wild small herbivores, which are vulnerable to poaching for their meat. Many times poachers claim the wild meat to be that of goat or sheep. Hence, authentic evidences are required to stop such wildlife crime. The present investigation was carried out to study the species specific PCR-RFLP patterns for meat identification of chital and sambar and then differentiation from the meat of goat and sheep. Materials and Methods: Extracted DNA from meat samples were subjected to PCR using the universal primers of 12S rRNA gene. The PCR products were subjected to RFLP and sequencing.

Results: The size of amplified PCR products was similar (440 bp) in each species and sequence alignment showed more than 89 % similarities among these species. However, phylogenetic analysis revealed that Chital and Sambar are in one cluster while Goat and sheep are in other cluster. To differentiate between species, restriction digestion of the PCR products was carried out to produce characteristic PCR-RFLP patterns for each species. Restriction digestion with RsaI and AluI enzymes produced distinct PCR-RFLP patterns that differentiated the meat of wild species (chital-sambar) from that of domestic species (goat-sheep). BsrI restriction digestion revealed unique PCR-RFLP pattern in chital differentiating it from the meat of other three species. Restriction digestion with DdeI enzyme led to the production of distinct PCR-RFLP patterns for chital and sambar to identify their meat individually.

Conclusion: This study showed the effectiveness of 12S rRNA gene polymorphism in meat identification. The data can be used as evidence against the poachers to convict the wildlife crime in the court of law.

Keywords: 12S rRNA gene, meat identification, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), wild small herbivores, wildlife forensic