Letter | Published:

Gene flow between African- and European-derived honey bee populations in Argentina

Abstract

IN the Neotropics, introduced European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)1,2 have been largely supplanted by bees descended from an African race, A. m. scutellata Lepetier, which were introduced into Brazil in the 1950s. Recent restriction enzyme analyses indicate that mitochondrial DNA in some neotropical populations is almost entirely of African origin3,4, and these data have been cited as evidence for asymmetrical gene flow between African- and European-derived populations3,4. Evaluation of the nature of hybridization in the Neotropics is, however, confounded by possible population size advantages for the African-derived group5–7. As an alternative approach, genetic interactions can be studied in transition areas between zones ecologically and climatically adaptive for both racial groups. We describe here results of a survey transecting regions populated by African- and European-derived honey bees in Argentina. Mitochondrial DNA, morphological and isoenzyme analyses show that substantial hybridization occurs between the two racial groups.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Ruttner, F. Biogeography and Taxonomy of Honey Bees (Springer, Berlin, 1988).

  2. 2

    Sheppard, W. S. Am. Bee. J. 129, 617–619, 664–667 (1989).

  3. 3

    Smith, D. R., Brown, W. M. & Taylor, O. R. Nature 339, 213–215 (1989).

  4. 4

    Hall, G. H. & Muralidharan, K. Nature 339, 211–213 (1989).

  5. 5

    Taylor, O. R. Bull. ent. Soc. Am. 31, 14–24 (1985).

  6. 6

    Page, R. E. Jr Nature 339, 181–182 (1989).

  7. 7

    Rinderer, T. E. in Africanized Honey Bees and Bee Mites (eds Needham, G. R., Page, R. E. Jr, Delfinado-Baker, M. & Bowman, C.) 13–28 (Ellis Horwood, Chichester, 1988).

  8. 8

    Daly, H. & Balling, S. S. J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 51, 857–869 (1978).

  9. 9

    Kerr, W. E. & Bueno, D. Evolution 24, 145–148 (1970).

  10. 10

    Rinderer, T. E., Hellmich, R. L. III. Danka, R. G. & Collins, A. M. Science 228, 1119–1121 (1985).

  11. 11

    Roubik, D. W., Ecology 61, 836–845 (1980).

  12. 12

    Sheppard, W. S. & Huettel, M. D. in Africanized Honey Bees and Bee Mites (eds Needham, G. R., Page, R. E. Jr, Delfinado-Baker, M. & Bowman, C.) 281–286 (Ellis Horwood, Chichester, 1988).

  13. 13

    Sylvester, H. A. J. Apic. Res. 21, 93–97 (1982).

  14. 14

    Lobo, J. A., Del Lama, M. A. & Mestriner, M. A. Evolution 43, 794–802 (1989).

  15. 15

    Del Lama, M. A., Lobo, J. A., Soares, A. E. E. & Del Lama, S. N. Apidologie 21, 271–280 (1990).

  16. 16

    Ruttner, F. in The Hive and the Honey Bee (eds Dadant & Sons) 19–38 (Dadant, Hamilton, Illinois, 1975).

  17. 17

    Kerr, W. E., de Leon del Rio, S. & Barrionuevo, M. D. Am. Bee J. 122, 196–197 (1982).

  18. 18

    Dietz, A. & Krell, R. Apidologie 16, 99–108 (1985).

  19. 19

    Barton, N. H. & Hewitt, G. M. A. Rev. ecol. Syst. 16, 113–148 (1985).

  20. 20

    Michener, C. D. A. Rev. Ent. 20, 339–416 (1975).

  21. 21

    Taylor, O. R. in Africanized Honey Bees and Bee Mites (eds Needham, G. R., Page, R. E. Jr, Delfinado-Baker, M. & Bowman, C.) 29–41 (Ellis Horwood, Chichester, 1988).

  22. 22

    Winston, M. L., Otis, G. W. & Taylor, O. R. Jr J. Apic. Res. 18, 85–94 (1979).

  23. 23

    Hall, G. H. Genetics 125, 611–621 (1990).

  24. 24

    Powell, J. R. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 80, 492–495 (1983).

  25. 25

    Marchant, A. D., Arnold, M. L. & Wilkinson, P. Heredity 61, 321–328 (1988).

  26. 26

    Hewitt, G. M. Trends Ecol. Evol. 3, 158–167 (1988).

  27. 27

    Sheppard, W. S. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 81, 886–889 (1988).

  28. 28

    Sheppard, W. S. & McPheron, B. A. in Diversity in Apis (ed. Smith, D. R.) (Westview, Colorado, in the press).

  29. 29

    Sheppard, W. S. & Huettel, M. D. Am. Bee J. 127, 851 (1987).

  30. 30

    Rinderer, T. E. et al. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 83, 346–351 (1990).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.