Novel diagnostic tools for Asian ( Apis cerana ) and European ( Apis mellifera ) honey authentication uri icon


  • Honey can be produced by different species of honeybees, with two being of economic importance due to their use in apiculture, namely Apis mellifera (known as European honeybee) and Apis cerana (known as Asian honeybee). Due to the decline of the wild populations of the Asian honeybee, this honey generally attains much higher market value, being prone to adulteration. This work aims at proposing new tools, based on the use of molecular markers, for the entomological authentication of honey. To this end, new species-specific primers were designed targeting the tRNA leu -cox2 intergenic region and allowing the detection of A. cerana DNA by qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Additionally, a novel real-time PCR method with high resolution melting analysis was developed to target the 16S rRNA gene of both bee species, allowing their discrimination in different clusters. The proposed methodologies were further applied with success in the authentication of Asian and European honey samples by the identification of honeybee DNA, demonstrating the usefulness of these simple and cost-effective new approaches.

publication date

  • March 1, 2018