Inheritance of traits associated with reproductive potential in Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata workers

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2008
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Allsopp, Michael
Beekman, Madeleine
Wossler, Theresa C
Oldroyd, Benjamin P
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When workers of the thelytokous Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, come into contact with colonies of the neighboring arrhenotokous subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, they can become lethal social parasites. We examined the inheritance of 3 traits (number of ovarioles, number of basitarsal hairs, and size of spermatheca) that are thought to be associated with reproductive potential in A. m. capensis workers. To do so, we produced hybrid A. m. scutellata/A. m. capensis queens and backcrossed them to either A. m. capensis or A. m. scutellata drones. We then measured the 3 traits in parental, hybrid, and backcross offspring. We show that the 3 traits are phenotypically correlated. We also show that the expression of ovariole number, basitarsal hairs, and size of spermatheca is influenced by the genotype of the individual and the rearing environment but that the influence of the rearing environment is less important to the number of ovarioles. We hypothesize a single recessive allele (l), present at high frequency in natural A. m. capensis populations, which when homozygous causes larvae to elicit more food. This increased feeding as larvae causes resulting adult workers to develop more queen-like morphology and increased reproductive potential. The number of ovarioles, in contrast, appears to be under independent genetic control.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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ISO 690JORDAN, Alex, Michael ALLSOPP, Madeleine BEEKMAN, Theresa C WOSSLER, Benjamin P OLDROYD, 2008. Inheritance of traits associated with reproductive potential in Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata workers. In: The Journal of Heredity. 2008, 99(4), pp. 376-381. ISSN 0022-1503. eISSN 1465-7333. Available under: doi: 10.1093/jhered/esn023
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@article{Jordan2008Inher-40721,
  year={2008},
  doi={10.1093/jhered/esn023},
  title={Inheritance of traits associated with reproductive potential in Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata workers},
  number={4},
  volume={99},
  issn={0022-1503},
  journal={The Journal of Heredity},
  pages={376--381},
  author={Jordan, Alex and Allsopp, Michael and Beekman, Madeleine and Wossler, Theresa C and Oldroyd, Benjamin P}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">When workers of the thelytokous Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, come into contact with colonies of the neighboring arrhenotokous subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, they can become lethal social parasites. We examined the inheritance of 3 traits (number of ovarioles, number of basitarsal hairs, and size of spermatheca) that are thought to be associated with reproductive potential in A. m. capensis workers. To do so, we produced hybrid A. m. scutellata/A. m. capensis queens and backcrossed them to either A. m. capensis or A. m. scutellata drones. We then measured the 3 traits in parental, hybrid, and backcross offspring. We show that the 3 traits are phenotypically correlated. We also show that the expression of ovariole number, basitarsal hairs, and size of spermatheca is influenced by the genotype of the individual and the rearing environment but that the influence of the rearing environment is less important to the number of ovarioles. We hypothesize a single recessive allele (l), present at high frequency in natural A. m. capensis populations, which when homozygous causes larvae to elicit more food. This increased feeding as larvae causes resulting adult workers to develop more queen-like morphology and increased reproductive potential. The number of ovarioles, in contrast, appears to be under independent genetic control.</dcterms:abstract>
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