Sequence analysis of ABO and its homologues is valid for species identification

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ABO and its paralogues, such as A3GALT2 and GGTA1, encoding α1,3-Gal(NAc) transferases, belong to the glycosyltransferase 6 (GT6) gene family. We have developed an alternative method for the identification of species based on sequence variations within the GT6 gene family, which is applicable to degraded DNA.


DNA samples prepared from control mammalian species, together with an unknown sample, were polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified using one universal primer pair targeting the sequences in the last coding exons of the GT6 gene family, yielding 141-bp products derived from those multiple loci. After cloning, sequence determination and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool analysis, phylogenetic trees were constructed.


Comparison of the sequences obtained with those references showed good concordance with each of the starting species of mammals. This system was able to identify ‘mouse’ or ‘rodent’ as the origin of the unknown sample.


For the identification of species, genotyping of ABO and its homologues would be applicable for the analysis of degraded DNA samples. Although the method employed in this study is likely valid for mammals, it would not be suitable for birds, fish and reptiles. It may be possible to improve the present method for use with other species by employing an alternative universal primer set.

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