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:2/3/2017)... -- Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its Board of Trustees ... the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. Schlesinger will take ... is currently the Chair of the Department of Microbial Infection ... Biology at Ohio State University. "We are delighted ... of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James O. Rubin , ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... -- IDTechEx Research, a leading provider of independent market ... of a new report, Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and ... ... ... Report "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts 2017-2027: Machine vision, ...
(Date:1/25/2017)... , Jan. 25, 2017 The Elements ... Management (IAM) lifecycle is comprised of a comprehensive ... the purpose of maintaining digital identities and providing ... and applications. There are significant number of programs ... time to time by optimizing processes and changing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)...  VWR Corporation (NASDAQ: VWR), the leading global independent provider ... today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and ... 4Q16 record quarterly net sales of $1.13 ... basis. 4Q16 EMEA-APAC segment net ... the Americas net sales increased 2.5%, or down 0.9% on ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. ... drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill ... a strange place for a head lice treatment salon to ... between a Tuscan restaurant and a French bistro on E ... perfect. "We aren,t just any old lice clinic, we pride ... feel comfortable, and release some of the stigma associated with ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... David Nolte, PhD accepted Purdue ... Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Indiana. , The top commercialization ... to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue research. “This award is truly ...
Breaking Biology Technology: