Free Access
Volume 22, Number 6, 1991
Evolution and genetics
Page(s) 643 - 652
Apidologie 22 (1991) 643-652
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19910607

Hybrid status of honey bee populations near the historic origin of Africanization in Brazil

W.S. Shepparda, A.E.E. Soaresb, D. DeJongb and H. Shimanukia

a  USDA-ARS, Bee Research Laboratory, Bldg 476, BARC-E, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
b  Univ de Sao Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirao Preto, Dpto de Genetica, Ribeirao Preto, 14 049, SP, Brazil

Abstract - Africanized honey bee populations are genetically heterogeneous across their extensive new world range. Over 35 years have elapsed since the introduction of A m scutellata to southeastern Brazil and we hypothesized that populations from this region should have achieved the highest degree of genetic equilibrium following the perturbation of introduction. We report here the results of a population genetic study of honey bees sampled near the origin of neotropical Africanization combining analyses of morphological, allozyme and mtDNA characters. Data from this study support previously reported allozyme frequency estimates and support the expectation that populations from this region are comparatively stable in genetic composition; and further, that significant polymorphism of European origin persists in the Africanized population of the region. Morphological and mtDNA data from these neotropical populations reveal the strong influence of the African race, A m scutellata. Apparent discordance among data sets from the several analytical methods reflects variation in selection and population size on the inheritance or persistence of such characters and indicates the importance of multiple character analysis.

Key words: Africanized honey bee / Brazil / population genetics / morphometry / mt DNA / enzyme polymorphism