Specific identification of four clam species, Ruditapes decussatus (grooved carpet shell), Venerupis pullastra (pullet carpet shell), Ruditapes philippinarum (Japanese carpet shell), and Venerupis rhomboides (yellow carpet shell), was achieved by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. Amplification of DNA isolated from the foot muscle produced fragments of 511 bp for V. pullastra, 523 bp for R. decussatus, 545 bp for R. philippinarum, and 502 bp for V. rhomboides. The restriction profiles obtained by agarose gel electrophoresis when amplicons were digested with endonucleases BsmAI and BsrI allowed unequivocal identification of the four clam species. This approach would be less costly, simpler, and quicker than conventional sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products followed by detailed comparison of individual sequences, especially when large numbers of samples need to be analyzed.

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