Genetic Architecture of Ovary Size and Asymmetry in European Honey Bee Workers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olav Rueppell, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The molecular basis of complex traits is increasingly understood but a remaining challenge is to identify their co-regulation and inter-dependence. Pollen hoarding in honey bees is a complex trait associated with a well-characterized suite of linked behavioral and physiological traits. In European honey bee stocks bi-directionally selected for pollen hoarding, worker (sterile helper) ovary size is pleiotropically affected by quantitative trait loci that were initially identified for their effect on foraging behavior. To gain a better understanding of the genetic architecture of worker ovary size in this model system, we analyzed a series of crosses between the selected strains. The crossing results were heterogeneous and suggested non-additive effects. Three significant and three suggestive quantitative trait loci of relatively large effect sizes were found in two reciprocal backcrosses. These loci are not located in genome regions of known effects on foraging behavior but contain several interesting candidate genes that may specifically affect worker ovary size. Thus, the genetic architecture of this life history syndrome may be comprised of pleiotropic, central regulators that influence several linked traits and other genetic factors that may be downstream and trait specific.

Additional Information

Heredity, 106, 894-903
Language: English
Date: 2011
worker caste, social evolution, complex trait locus mapping, Apis mellifera, QTL, reproduction, trait network, ovarioles

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