Genetic characterization of commercial honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) populations in the United States by using mitochondrial and microsatellite markers

  • Authors: Delaney, D. A.; Meixner, M.D.; Schiff, N.M.; Sheppard, W.S.
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102: 666-673


Genetic diversity levels within and between the two commercial breeding areas in the
United States were analyzed using the DraI restriction fragment length polymorphism of the COICOII mitochondrial region and 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci. The western commercial breeding population (WCBP) and the southeastern commercial breeding population (SCBP) were sampled in 1993Ð1994 and again in 2004Ð2005. The goal of this study was to characterize the genetic composition of these populations and to measure potential changes in genetic diversity and composition across the sampling period. The mitochondrial DNA haplotypes C1 and C2, characteristic of the most popular bee strains (Italians and Carniolans, respectively) sold in the United States, were the dominant haplotypes at both sample dates. The frequency of Apis mellifera melliferaMhaplotypes, M4, M7, and M7, decreased during the 10-yr span. An A1 haplotype characteristic of Africanized bees was found in the SCBP from 2005. Microsatellite analysis showed there was a loss of alleles in both the WCBP and SCBP, but the losses were not signiÞcant due to simultaneous gains of new alleles into these populations between 1993 and 2005. Genetic differences that occurred between the 1993Ð1994WCBP and SCBP were still detectable in these populations sampled a decade later, suggesting that these populations could be useful sources of diversity for each other in the future.

  • Citation: Delaney, D. A., M. D. Meixner, N. M. Schiff and W.S. Sheppard. 2009. Genetic characterization of commercial honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) populations in the United States by using mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102:666-673.
  • Keywords: genetic diversity, Apis mellifera, commercial populations, mitochondrial DNA, microsatellites
  • Posted Date: October 15, 2009
  • Modified Date: November 16, 2009
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