Prof, DNA Barcoding Featured on National TV

March 30, 2010 - In the News

Integrative biology professor Robert Hanner was featured on two CBC television programs this week discussing how DNA barcoding technology can detect mislabelled seafood.

On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., he was featured on a TV show to be broadcast on the French network of CBC Radio-Canada called L'épicerie. It's watched by more than one million people weekly.

On Friday at 8:30 p.m., Marketplace, CBC’s popular consumer affairs TV show, aired a segment on Hanner’s research and fish testing using DNA barcoding. The health concerns of such substitutions, as well as the related consumer issues, will also be discussed. Marketplace has produced a promotional piece advancing the story.

Hanner is associate director of the Canadian Barcode of Life Network, which is headquartered at the U of G-based Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. He also co-ordinates the Fish Barcode of Life campaign intended to barcode the world’s fish species. In 2008, Hanner was involved in a study in which students and scientists collected some 100 fish samples from restaurants and markets in Toronto, Guelph and New York City and found that about 25 per cent of the fish was mislabelled.

DNA barcoding is a molecular technique developed by integrative biology professor Paul Hebert that allows scientists to match up barcodes from specimens of unknown identity to those derived from expert-identified reference specimens.

U of G leads the International Barcode of Life project to barcode five million of the world’s specimens over the next five years. In addition, the Barcode of Life Database at Guelph allows researchers to match up unknown species, including fish.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1