Free access
Volume 37, Number 3, May-June 2006
Page(s) 376 - 386
Published online 10 March 2006
Apidologie 37 (2006) 376-386
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006003

Intraspecific variation in the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA in Melipona subnitida (Hymenoptera, Apidae), an endemic stingless bee from northeastern Brazil

Darci de Oliveira Cruza, Daniel Macedo de Melo Jorgeb, Júlio Otávio Portela Pereiraa, Davi Coe Torresb, Carlos Eduardo Alves Soaresb, Breno Magalhães Freitasa and Thalles Barbosa Grangeirob

a  Grupo de Pesquisa com Abelhas, Departamento de Zootecnia, Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil
b  Laboratório de Citogenética e Genética Molecular, Departamento de Biologia, Bloco 906, Centro de Ciências, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Av. Humberto Monte, s/n, CEP 60.455-970, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil

(Received 27 June 2005 - revised 20 September 2005 - accepted 27 September 2005 - published online 10 March 2006)

Abstract - Melipona subnitida is endemic to northeastern Brazil where it has been exploited for the production of honey. In this work, partial sequences (about 600 bp) of the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) of the ribosomal DNA were obtained from M. subnitida specimens collected in thirteen localities in northeastern Brazil. All the sequences were deposited in GenBank (accession numbers DQ078726-DQ078738). The mean nucleotide divergence (excluding sites with insertions/deletions) in the ITS1 sequences was about 5%, ranging from 0 to 13%. However, when the sites with insertions/deletions were taken into account each sequence was unique, with nucleotide divergences varying from 1.1 to 18%. The intraspecific variation in the M. subnitida ITS1 is therefore greater than most of those previously published studies comprising a wide range of organisms. This high variation is taken as an evidence of isolated populations evolving individually for a long period of time. This information is also of importance for the development of appropriate conservation strategies for this species.

Key words: Melipona subnitida / stingless bee / nuclear ribosomal DNA / ITS/5.8S region / genetic variability

Corresponding author: Thalles Barbosa Grangeiro

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2006