Free Access
Volume 29, Number 6, 1998
Page(s) 547 - 554
Apidologie 29 (1998) 547-554
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980607

Biopsied preblastoderm honeybee embryos develop into normal honeybee queens

Ronglin Yu, Arne Hagen and Stig W. Omholt

Department of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Norway, P.O. Box 5025, 1432 Ås, Norway

Abstract - Preblastoderm honeybee (Apis mellifera) embryos (8.5-9.0 h) were biopsied by extracting a small amount of ooplasm from the anterior part. Nearly 60 % of the embryos hatched into larvae and 45 % of these emerged as queens. It is shown that extraction of up to 80 nuclei is not likely to cause any morphological or behavioural abnormality in the adult queen. Beyond this number the survival rate declines rapidly. Combined with a technique for cryopreservation of ooplasmic fractions recently developed by us, we are now able to perform comprehensive testing or screening of adult honeybee queens, while having their totipotent embryonic nuclei stored in liquid nitrogen. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: biopsy / honeybee embryo / nuclear transplantation / embryo cloning / cryopreservation