Free Access
Volume 39, Number 5, September-October 2008
Page(s) 566 - 573
Published online 28 October 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 566-573
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2008039

Mitochondrial discrimination of honeybees (Apis mellifera) of Sudan

Mogbel A.A. El-Niweiri and Robin F.A. Moritz

Institut für Biologie, Martin-Luther-Universität of Halle-Wittenberg, Hoher Weg 4, 06099 Halle/Saale, Germany

Received 13 December 2007 – Revised 15 May 2008 – Accepted 30 May 2008 - Published online 28 October 2008

Abstract - Sudanese honeybee populations are surrounded by a suite of various subspecies with different mitochondrial haplotypes, including the O-lineage in the north (Egypt), the Y-lineage in the east (Ethiopia) and the A-lineage in the south and west. Using Dra I analyses and the partial sequence of the tRNAleu COII region of 75 sampled colonies throughout Sudan, we never found the Y-lineage in Sudanese honeybees but instead seven different haplotypes from the A-, O-, and C-lineage (A1, A4, A8, A13, O1', O1 and C2 ) suggesting that the Y-lineage is not common to Sudan. The mitochondrial haplotypes co-segregated with the highly diverse ecosystems in Sudan. Honeybees of the wet savannah and forest ecosystems showed the A-lineage, identical to A. m. adansonii and A. m. scutellata. The honeybees in the desert, semi desert, and dry savannah of Sudan have the O-lineage, similar to A. m. lamarckii and A. m. syriaca. Haplotype C2 was found in apiaries with imported stock (A. m. carnica). This reclassification of the honeybees from Sudan has consequences for the interpretation of the biogeography of A. mellifera in the Maghreb and Mashriq regions.

Key words: Apis mellifera jemenitica / subspcies / mitochondrial DNA / Sudan / biogeography

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008