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Volume 31, Number 2, March-April 2000
Taxonomy and Evolutionary biology of the Honeybees
Page(s) 181 - 190
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000115

Apidologie 31 (2000) 181-190

Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms in honey bee subspecies from Kenya

Marina D. Meixner a,b - M. Cristina Ariasc - Walter S. Sheppardb

aInstitut für Bienenkunde, (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), J.-W. Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Karl-von-Frisch Weg 2, 61440 Oberursel, Germany
bDept. of Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
cDepto de Biologia, Instituto de Biociências, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil


Thirty-nine samples of Apis mellifera monticola and A. m. scutellata from three different regions of Kenya were analyzed for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation using 6-base and 4-base restriction enzymes. Restriction with HpaII and AluI resulted in distinct patterns that together produced three different haplotypes. While haplotypes 2 and 3 were restricted to samples from the mountain forest, haplotype 1 was found in A. m. scutellata and in all samples from the Ngong Hills. No introgression of A. m. scutellata mtDNA was detected in bees collected in mountain environments, but a few samples from the savanna had A. m. monticola morphology, or mtDNA, or both. These results support the hypothesis that A. m. monticola is a distinct subspecies and not an ecotype of A. m. scutellata. The polymorphic restriction sites were mapped. Ten samples of A. m. litorea from the coast of Kenya were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and subsequent restriction analysis. All samples of A. m. litorea shared the A. m. scutellata haplotype.

Keywords: Apis mellifera monticola / A. m. scutellata / A. m. litorea / mtDNA polymorphism / Kenya

Correspondence and reprints: Marina D. Meixner
Institut für Zoologie, Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Kröllwitzer Str. 44, 06120 Halle, Germany

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