Navigation Links
Mescal 'worm' test shows DNA leaks into preservatives
Date:2/9/2010

Just because you don't swallow the worm at the bottom of a bottle of mescal doesn't mean you have avoided the essential worminess of the potent Mexican liquor, according to scientists at the University of Guelph.

Researchers from U of G's Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) have discovered that mescal itself contains the DNA of the agave butterfly caterpillar the famously tasty "worm" that many avoid consuming. Their findings will appear in the March issue of BioTechniques, which is available online now.

The BIO researchers set out to test a hypothesis that DNA from a preserved specimen can leak into its preservative liquid. As part of their study, they tested a sample of liquid from a bottle of mescal. The liquor was found to contain DNA, which they amplified and sequenced to obtain a DNA barcode telltale genetic material that identifies species of living things.

Comparing the sample to thousands of records of Lepidoptera DNA barcodes stored in the Barcode of Life Data Systems database at Guelph confirmed that the mescal liquid contained DNA related to the agave's family.

"This is a surprising result," said research team member Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Assistant Professor, BIO and Department of Integrative Biology. He noted that mescal contains only 40 per cent ethanol and potentially many impurities that can degrade DNA.

"Showing that the DNA of a preserved specimen can be obtained from the preservative liquid introduces a range of important possibilities," Hajibabaei said. "We can develop inexpensive, high-throughput, field-friendly and non-invasive genetic analysis protocols for situations where the original tissue cannot be touched or when there is simply no sample left for analysis."

The scientists also successfully identified other "fresh" specimens contained in preservative ethanol including whole insects (caddisflies and mayflies) and plant leaves as well as seven preserved specimens collected seven to 10 years earlier.

The study is part of the technology development phase of the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL). Based at U of G, it's the largest biodiversity genomics project ever undertaken. More than 200 scientists from 25 countries are creating DNA barcode reference library for all life, developing new technologies to access it and applying DNA barcoding in economically, socially and environmentally beneficial ways.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Chenery
jchenery@uoguelph.ca
519-780-5483
International Barcode of Life
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Brains timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world
2. Shipworm threatens archaeological treasures
3. Miscanthus, a biofuels crop, can host western corn rootworm
4. More than fish bait: Worms unlock secrets to new epilepsy treatments
5. Pinhead-size worms + robot = new antibiotics
6. Parasitic worms make sex worthwhile
7. International research team seeks to unravel flatworm regeneration
8. To swim or to crawl: For the worm its a no brainer
9. A worm-and-mouse tale: B cells deserve more respect
10. Ancient geologic escape hatches mistaken for tube worms
11. Key to curing obesity may lie in worms that destroy their own fat: McGill researchers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted to ... of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share rose ... was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to exceed ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
Breaking Biology Technology: