Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Onyinye C. Ihearahu - Bowie State University
Co-Author(s): Demarcis Rowland and Angelese Davis, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
Food mislabeling is a global issue. The major goal of this project is to use DNA barcoding techniques to authenticate yam flours imported to the United States through African and Asian food stores. A total of 17 yam flour samples were tested and 5 were brought from Nigeria while 12 were purchased from African and Asian stores in the D.C and Maryland area. DNA was extracted and RBCL primer was used to amplify a segment of the ribulose 1, 5 bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase gene that is found in the chloroplast region of photosynthetic organisms. The PCR product was sent to GeneWiz LLC for sequencing and the sequence data was deposited into DNA subway, a bioinformatics database, for analysis. Using DNA subway, the sequences for the yam flours were analyzed for SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and matched with database sequences using BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool). The BLAST results showed that, out of 17 yam flour samples, 3 were derived from plant species other than yam. Sample 11 (Iyan Ado) was confirmed to be rice flour. Samples 3 & 14 indicated other plant sources but is still undergoing further testing. In conclusion, our results showed that DNA barcoding is useful in determining the species sources of unknown flours. Using BLAST results and phylogenetic trees, we were also able to determine that a majority of the yam flours that were purchased where from one particular species- Dioscorea rotundata.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF/HBCU-UP) awarded to Dr. George Ude, Department of Natural Science, Bowie State University.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. George Ude, email@example.com
Role: I was part of this research from start to finish. Along with my research partners, I extracted genomic DNA from each yam flour. Furthermore, I also did PCR using the rbcl primer. I was responsible for the bioinformatics of this research. Using DNA Subway, I analyzed the yam flour sequence and created phylogeny trees as well as a MUSCLE alignment to show single nucleotide polymorphisms.