The ManKan™ honey real time PCR kit is a multiplex qPCR test designed for the detection and differentiation of manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), manuka DNA from other plant species such as kanuka (Kunzea ericodes) which is also detected separately in this assay. The third marker in the test is an internal control to ensure DNA sample quality in the test.
The test is highly specific to L. scoparium and does not detect other Leptospermum species such as L. polygalifolium (jellybush), L. laevigatum, or L. grandifolium. Other honey species in New Zealand, such as clover, rata and pohutukawa also do not cross-react with this test.
As the test can be used to identify DNA from manuka pollen from honey, a novel DNA extraction method has also been developed and validated together with this kit for the extraction of DNA from small amounts of honey. The use of these small amounts (1.4g or ~1ml) allows microcentrifuge-scale testing for industry applications.