Free Access
Volume 37, Number 5, September-October 2006
Page(s) 547 - 555
Published online 24 June 2006
Apidologie 37 (2006) 547-555
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006029

Genetic characterization of honey bee (Apis mellifera cypria) populations in northern Cyprus

Irfan Kandemira, b, Marina D. Meixnerb, Ayca Ozkana and Walter S. Sheppardb

a  Department of Biology, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Incivez 67100 Zonguldak, Turkey
b  Department of Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6382 WA, USA

(Received 15 April 2005 - revised 16 December 2005 - accepted 22 December 2005 - published online 24 June 2006)

Abstract - The variability of the honey bees of northern Cyprus was investigated using morphometric, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite analyses. Morphometric analysis resulted in a clear classification of the Cyprus bees as Apis mellifera cypria, but showed the influence of imported A. m. anatoliaca in some areas. In eastern Cyprus, several samples showed a similarity to A. m. meda, possibly corroborating a published report of similarity between A. m. cypria and Mediterranean A. m. meda. However, the importation of A. m. meda into Cyprus could not be ruled out. MtDNA analysis showed that most Cyprian samples belonged to the mitochondrial C lineage, but a small proportion of samples displayed restriction patterns typical for the mitochondrial O lineage. Population differentiation between Cyprus and honey bees from adjacent mainland populations was low, but the northwestern Cyprus population appeared to be introgressed to a larger extent by alleles from the Turkish mainland.

Key words: Apis mellifera cypria / mtDNA / microsatellites / morphometry / Cyprus

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© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2006