Identification of hare meat by a species-specific marker of mitochondrial origin uri icon


  • Meat species identification in food has gained increasing interest in recent years due to public health, economic and legal concerns. Following the consumer trend towards high quality products, game meat has earned much attention. The aim of the present work was to develop a DNA-based technique able to identify hare meat. Mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was used to design species-specific primers for hare detection. The new primers proved to be highly specific to Lepus species, allowing the detection of 0.01% of hare meat in pork meat by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A real-time PCR assay with the new intercalating EvaGreen dye was further proposed as a specific and fast tool for hare identification with increased sensitivity (1 pg) compared to end-point PCR (10 pg). It can be concluded that the proposed new primers can be used by both species-specific end-point PCR or real-time PCR to accurately authenticate hare meat.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012