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Volume 40, Number 5, September-October 2009
Page(s) 549 - 555
Published online 06 June 2009
Apidologie 40 (2009) 549-555
DOI: 10.1051/apido/2009036

Intraspecific variation in the stingless bee Melipona beecheii assessed with PCR-RFLP of the ITS1 ribosomal DNA

William de Jesús May-Itzá1, 2, José Javier Guadalupe Quezada-Euán1, Eunice Enriquez3 and Pilar De La Rúa2

1  Departamento de Apicultura, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Apdo Postal 4-116, Mérida, 97100, Yucatán, Mexico
2  Área de Biología Animal, Dpto. de Zoología y Antropología Física, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
3  Laboratorio de Entomología Aplicada y Parasitología -LENAP- y Centro de Estudios Conservacionistas -CECON-, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Ave. Reforma 0-63 zona 10, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala

Received 16 January 2008 – Revised 10 December 2008 – Accepted 23 January 2009 - Published online 6 June 2009

Abstract - In previous works, significant variation in morphometric and molecular characteristics was detected among populations of M. beecheii. Here RFLP tests of the internal transcribed spacer 1 of the ribosomal gene were performed to confirm those results and to evaluate the intraspecific variability within the species. The complete ITS1 region and the flanking regions showed length variation (1720 to 1670) and also three different restriction patterns that allowed differentiation of three groups of colonies with different geographic distribution. Mexican colonies from Yucatán, Campeche and Chiapas, together with one colony from northern Guatemala formed one group, a second was composed of colonies from southern Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica and a third one corresponded to one colony from San Marcos (Guatemala but close to the Mexican border). Such test could be used to characterize locally adapted ecotypes subject to conservation efforts.

Key words: stingless bees / Melipona beecheii / ITS1 region / RFLP / genetic variability

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009