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Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Palhares R.M.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Palhares R.M.,Myleus Biotechnology Research Team | Drummond M.G.,Myleus Biotechnology Research Team | Dos Santos Alves Figueiredo Brasil B.,EMBRAPA - Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria | And 2 more authors.

Medicinal plants are used throughout the world, and the regulations defining their proper use, such as identification of the correct species and verification of the presence, purity and concentration of the required chemical compounds, are widely recognized. Herbal medicines are made from vegetal drugs, the processed products of medicinal species. These processed materials present a number of challenges in terms of botanical identification, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the use of incorrect species is a threat to consumer safety. The samples used in this study consisted of the dried leaves, flowers and roots of 257 samples from 8 distinct species approved by the WHO for the production of medicinal herbs and sold in Brazilian markets. Identification of the samples in this study using DNA barcoding (matK, rbcL and ITS2 regions) revealed that the level of substitutions may be as high as 71%. Using qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses, this study identified situations in which the correct species was being sold, but the chemical compounds were not present. Even more troubling, some samples identified as substitutions using DNA barcoding contained the chemical compounds from the correct species at the minimum required concentration. This last situation may lead to the use of unknown species or species whose safety for human consumption remains unknown. This study concludes that DNA barcoding should be used in a complementary manner for species identification with chemical analyses to detect and quantify the required chemical compounds, thus improving the quality of this class of medicines. © 2015 Palhares et al. Source

Brasil B.S.A.F.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Brasil B.S.A.F.,Myleus Biotechnology Research Team | Coelho E.G.A.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Drummond M.G.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 2 more authors.
Genetics and Molecular Research

The Brazilian cattle population is mainly composed of breeds of zebuine origin and their American derivatives. Comprehensive knowledge about the genetic diversity of these populations is fundamental for animal breeding programs and the conservation of genetic resources. This study aimed to assess the phylogenetic relationships, levels of genetic diversity, and patterns of taurine/zebuine admixture among 9 commercial cattle breeds raised in Brazil. Analysis of DNA polymorphisms was performed on 2965 animals using the 11 microsatellite markers recommended by the International Society of Animal Genetics. High genetic diversity was detected in all breeds, even though significant inbreeding was observed within some. Differences among the breeds accounted for 14.72% of the total genetic variability, and genetic differentiation was higher among taurine than among zebuine cattle. Of note, Nelore cattle presented with high levels of admixture, which is consistent with the history of frequent gene flow during the establishment of this breed in Brazil. Furthermore, significant genetic variability was partitioned within the commercial cattle breeds formed in America, which, therefore, comprise important resources of genetic diversity in the tropics. The genetic characterization of these important Brazilian breeds may now facilitate the development of management and breeding programs for these populations. © FUNPEC-RP. Source

Carvalho D.C.,Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais | Carvalho D.C.,Myleus Biotechnology Research Team | Palhares R.M.,Myleus Biotechnology Research Team | Drummond M.G.,Myleus Biotechnology Research Team | Frigo T.B.,Secretaria de Pesca e Maricultura
Food Control

Here we report a governmental initiative to enforce a regulatory program based on DNA Barcode identification of mislabeled seafood products commercialized in Southern Brazil marketplaces, resulting in financial penalties to retailers. The Brazilian Governmental Regulatory Agency (PROCON) confiscated 30 seafood samples from fishmongers, supermarkets and restaurants of commercially important species such as cod, flounder, grouper, tuna and pink cusk-eel. Using the standard DNA Barcode methodology (i.e. 650. bp of the mitochondrial gene COI), we identified all the 30 samples of fresh, frozen, cooked and fried seafood to the species level. Cases of mislabeling were found in 24% of samples obtained. We found that highly priced species (flounder, pink cusk-eel and cod) were substituted for cheaper species (basa and Alaska pollock). Establishments involved in cases of mislabeling were officially notified by the Governmental Regulatory Agency and financial penalties were applied. The implementation of such regulatory programs using innovative technologies, such as DNA based identification methods, may discourage deliberate replacement in the seafood market and lead to a significant reduction in seafood mislabeling. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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