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Many a drinker of mezcal, the tequila-like alcoholic beverage made from agave plants, has been warned not to eat the worm at the bottom of the bottle.
According to researchers from the University of Guelph, however, if you drink mezcal at all you will still be ingesting the worm, or at least its DNA — enough of it, in fact, that it can be PCR-amplified and sequenced.
Barcode blog article: Simplified DNA barcode recipe-skip step one
It will now be possible to genetically differentiate the more than 400,000 species of land plants in the world thanks to DNA barcoding, a revolutionary technique invented at the University of Guelph.
University of Guelph news release: U of G Scientists Help Find Plant DNA Barcode
CBC article: DNA ‘barcodes’ I.D. plants