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How does EcoGene fit within Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research?

EcoGene is a commercial business unit within Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research (MWLR). It covers DNA based testing, analysis and research done by researchers and technicians at MWLR for external clients and utilises the laboratories and facilities across our Auckland and Lincoln sites.

How do I submit samples for testing?

Please send an email to detailing the testing you’d like and describing your samples. We will follow up to confirm pricing and to answer any questions that you may have about the testing process. After this, please send the samples to us for testing.

Where should I send my samples? Can I submit samples to the site that is nearest to me?

Samples for plant species identification should be sent to our Lincoln site, while all other samples are typically sent to our Auckland site. As we perform different tests at each of the sites, we need your samples to go directly to the site that conducts the testing required for your project. Please ask us if you’re unsure where to send your samples.

How much do your services cost?

Our pricing is calculated on a per test basis. When we know more about your samples and we can help advise how many tests will be required. As a reference,our standard rates for eight tests or less are $400+GST for the first test and $250+GST for each test after this. Please see the examples below for how this is calculated.

Example 1. Species identification testing for three samples would be $400+GST plus 2 x $250+GST, for a total of $900+GST. Species identification testing for plant material starts at $650+GST for a single sample. All pricing examples are in New Zealand dollars.

Example 2. Species identification testing and genotyping of two samples means a total of four tests (two per sample). This would be $400+GST plus 3 x $250+GST, for a total of $1150+GST.

We offer batch rates for larger quantities of samples. Please get in touch with us to confirm a quote if you require more than eight tests, or for more complex projects.

For some of the tests that we offer (chytrid testing, some sexing methods), less lab processing is required and the per test cost will be lower regardless of the number of tests. Please get in touch with us to confirm a quote if you require these kinds of testing.

What is your standard turnaround time? When will I get my results?

For processing of eight tests or less, our standard turnaround time is between 5 - 15 working days, with a more precise estimate to be confirmed at sample submission. If you require samples to be processed faster than this, we offer an urgent turnaround service for an additional $250+GST (or $500+GST if work outside of standard business hours is required) with results delivery within 3 days (depending on the testing required) .

For larger batches of samples and for complex projects please get in touch with us for an estimate of project length.

How should I package my samples for shipping?

Please send samples with appropriate padding for the sample to be kept intact and protected . For samples that need to be kept cold (e.g. carcasses, scats) please include ice packs in the packaging. For small samples with no cooling requirements, a padded envelope is often fine. Samples should be clearly labelled and submitted in separate individual packaging (i.e. pottle, container, envelope, ziplock plastic bag etc.).

I have a carcass I would like to have predator identification testing conducted on. Should I send the carcass to be swabbed by EcoGene , or take swabs myself and submit these for testing?

We are happy to take receipt of both whole carcasses (for small animals) and swabs for testing. If you have sampling materials on hand and feel confident taking swabs yourself, then that is totally fine. Instructions for this can be found in the  EcoGene instructional video.

Otherwise, please send through the whole carcass, packaged appropriately, kept cold, and on an overnight courier. Please store carcasses in the freezer if they can’t be sent to us immediately.

Do you sell DNA sampling kits?

We have moved away from supplying these ourselves and instead encourage customers to build up their own supplies. Small DNA sampling kits can be purchased from Aorangi Forensic Supplies Limited for example.

If you require bulk quantities of sampling equipment, please refer to the links below for the suppliers of the equipment we use in the lab. Please note, there are often multiple other suppliers for these items; feel free to find alternate sources of these that work best for your budget or needs.