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Molecules 2019, 24(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24020289

Authentication of Apis cerana Honey and Apis mellifera Honey Based on Major Royal Jelly Protein 2 Gene

College of Animal Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
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Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products: From Molecules to Human Health)
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Abstract

In Asia, honey is mainly produced by Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. However, the price of A. cerana honey is usually much higher than A. mellifera honey. Seeing considerable profits, some dishonest companies and beekeepers mislabel A. mellifera honey as A. cerana honey or incorporate A. mellifera honey into A. cerana honey. In the present study, we developed methods to discriminate A. cerana honey from A. mellifera honey based on the MRJP2 (major royal jelly protein 2) gene. Two pairs of species-specific primers were designed. The amplification products of A. cerana and A. mellifera were 212 and 560 bp, respectively. As little as one percent incorporation of A. mellifera honey in the mixture can be detected by duplex PCR. Additionally, another method based on the melt curve analysis using the same primers was also developed, allowing a rapid discrimination of real-time PCR product of different species. Our study shows that the entomological authentication of honey samples can be identified by nuclear genes other than mitochondrial genes and this extends the possibility of gene selection in identification. The authentication system we proposed could be a useful tool for discriminating A. cerana honey from A. mellifera honey.
Keywords: honey; Apis cerana; Apis mellifera; authentication; MRJP2 gene honey; Apis cerana; Apis mellifera; authentication; MRJP2 gene
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhang, Y.-Z.; Wang, S.; Chen, Y.-F.; Wu, Y.-Q.; Tian, J.; Si, J.-J.; Zhang, C.-P.; Zheng, H.-Q.; Hu, F.-L. Authentication of Apis cerana Honey and Apis mellifera Honey Based on Major Royal Jelly Protein 2 Gene. Molecules 2019, 24, 289.

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