Free Access
Volume 31, Number 2, March-April 2000
Taxonomy and Evolutionary biology of the Honeybees
Page(s) 167 - 180
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000114

Apidologie 31 (2000) 167-180

Molecular confirmation of a fourth lineage in honeybees from the Near East

Pierre Francka - Lionel Garneryb - Michel Solignacb - Jean-Marie Cornueta

aLaboratoire de Modélisation et Biologie Evolutive, URLB-INRA, 488 rue Croix de Lavit, 34090 Montpellier, France
bLaboratoire Population, Génétique et Évolution, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France


The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 75 honeybee colonies from the Lebanon was characterized by DraI restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the COI-COII intergenic region. The seven observed haplotypes were different enough from all haplotypes already known in Apis mellifera to justify their assignment to a fourth mtDNA lineage. The nucleotide sequence of a 380 base pair (bp) fragment of the NADH2 gene was determined for two haplotypes, which showed a high similarity with two published sequences from A. m. lamarkii and A. m. meda. A microsatellite analysis of a large Lebanese population sample (50 colonies, 8 loci) suggests that Near East populations are also differentiated at the nuclear level from the three previously characterized evolutionary branches of the species A. mellifera.

Keywords: Apis mellifera / mtDNA / microsatellite / evolutionary history / Near East

Correspondence and reprints: Jean-Marie Cornuet

Copyright INRA/DIB/AGIB/EDP Sciences

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