PCR Lateral Flow Assays for Rapid Onsite Seafood Authentication

Full Title: PCR Lateral Flow Assays for the Rapid Onsite Authentication of Economically Impactful Seafood Species
Seafood misrepresentation poses a significant challenge in the United States, particularly impacting grouper, snapper, and shrimp species, thus undermining the domestic seafood industry. To address this issue, a rapid onsite identification method using RNase H-dependent PCR coupled lateral flow (rhPCR-LF) assays is proposed, aiming to provide industry-friendly testing solutions within two hours, thus safeguarding the economic interests of domestic seafood stakeholders and fostering industry-academia collaboration.
Lead Investigator: Prashant Singh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Florida State University
Project Team: Leqi Cui, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Florida State University
Collaborator: Beacon Fisheries, Southern Shrimp Alliance, Woods Fisheries, Inland Seafood, J.J. McDonnell &Co., SeaD Consulting
Award Amount: $142,552
Year Funded: 2024
Award Period: 2024-2026
Project Abstract:

Seafood misrepresentation is a major problem for the whole United States. Previous studies have shown widespread misrepresentation of commercially important grouper, snapper, and shrimp species, negatively affects the domestic seafood industry. Rationale: The standard DNA barcoding method used for identifying seafood take 3 – 5 days, can cost $100-200 per sample, which limits seafood testing. Therefore, industry-friendly testing solutions, developed in collaboration with seafood industry experts are needed, to reduce seafood misrepresentation and protect the economic interest of domestic seafood producers, processors, and wholesalers. The overall goal of this project is to develop rapid seafood identification assays that can be used for onsite identification of commercially important seafood species in resource-limited settings in under two hours. Response: We will achieve these goals by standardizing highly precise RNase H-dependent PCR coupled lateral flow (rhPCR-LF) assays for the onsite identification of seafood species and test the applicability of the standardized assays at seafood processing facilities. This work will be performed by partnering with seafood industry experts and processors, who will provide inputs on assay development, provide seafood samples, and facilitate on-site testing. Outcomes: Findings from this study will result in the standardization and application of assays for the identification of six commercially important gulf species i.e., black grouper, red drum, red grouper, red snapper, yellowtail snapper, and royal red shrimp. Onsite validation, personnel, and student training on assays will promote the inclusion

of a diversified audience, including underrepresented communities, generate trained workforce, create partnerships with end-user, industry-academia collaboration, and promote long-term impact.


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