Article Title

Tortoise DNA detection from highly processed tortoise shell using SINE element


Colla carapax et plastrum testudinis is one of the most valuable traditional Chinese medicine referring to highly processed tortoise shell glue which contains trace amount of severely degraded DNA. In this work, a simple and fast methodology was first developed for the identification of highly processed medicine from substitutions which were labeled fraudulently as tortoise shell glue but derived from tissues of other animals such as horse, cattle or pig. The method is based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of tortoise-specific Pol III/SINE element and allows the detection of tortoise DNA in glue mixtures, which contain only 0.1% colla carapax et plastrum testudinis. A comparison of five various polymerases for the assay was also conducted, based on their performances in PCR. Finally, the method was applied for the detection of tortoise DNA from six commercial tortoise shell glue products; one of them was tested negative, indicating none or less than 0.1% tortoise shell in there.

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