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曲目数: | 最新发布时间: 2018-05-07 浏览数:

Researchers found unique genetic variants that differentiate costly beluga caviar from cheaper fakes that rip off consumers. Christopher Intagliata reports.


撰文/播音:克里斯托弗·因塔利亚塔(Christopher Intagliata)



Caviar is one of the world's priciest foods: it can cost thousands of dollars a pound. And caviar from the beluga sturgeon is the most exclusive of all. But even experts have a hard time telling the eggs from two different species apart by appearance alone.

鱼子酱是世界上最贵的食物之一: 它可能贵到几千刀一磅。而欧洲鳇鱼子酱又是其中最高档的。但是,即使是专家也很难仅仅通过外表来区分两种不同鱼类的卵。

So scientists came up with a method that more than meets the eye: a genetic test that identifies variations in nuclear DNA that are unique to the beluga and its cousin, the sterlet. The test can differentiate roe of those two species from that of eight other species of sturgeon.

And the best part, given caviar's premium price? The test requires just a single egg. The study is in the journal Scientific Reports. [Miloš Havelka et al., Nuclear DNA markers for identification of Beluga and Sterlet sturgeons and their interspecific Bester hybrid]

因此,科学家们想出了一个无需用眼睛观察的好方法:基因检测。基因检测技术可以识别出白鲸和它的表亲小体鲟中独特的细胞核DNA变异。这项技术可以将这两个物种的鱼子与其他八种鲟鱼的鱼子区分开。考虑到鱼子酱的价格,这个技术最好的地方就是每个检测只需要一颗鱼子。这个研究刊登于期刊《Scientific Reports》上。

The researchers say that by definitively identifying the real stuff, the test could prop up its high price. But this effort is not just of interest to the 1-percenters: genetic verification could also be used for conservation. Belugas are critically endangered. And since they hybridize with other sturgeon species, conservationists need to make sure that farm-raised fish they plan to reintroduce into the wild are the real thing, and not just a cheap lookalike.

研究者表示: 通过对鱼子进行准确可靠地验真,这项技术能够维持它昂贵的费用。但是该技术的受众不仅仅是那百分之一的人,基因鉴定还可以用于保护自然资源。白鲸现在已严重濒临灭绝。而且由于它们会和其他种类的鲟鱼杂交,环保人士需要确保人工养殖后投放到野生环境中的鱼是真的品种,而不是长得像的廉价鱼。

—Christopher Intagliata


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