Population structure of Apis cerana in Thailand reflects biogeography and current gene flow rather than Varroa mite association.

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 )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Concordance between the mitochondrial haplotypes of the Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana, and its ectoparasitic Varroa mites across the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand has suggested that local host–pathogen co-evolution may be responsible for the geographic distribution of particular genotypes. To investigate nuclear microsatellites population structure in A. cerana, single workers of A. cerana colonies from Thailand were genotyped at 18 microsatellite loci. The loci showed intermediate to high levels of heterozygosity and a range of allele numbers. The analyses confirmed a fundamental subdivision of the Thai A. cerana population into the “Asia Mainland” and “Sundaland” regions at the Isthmus of Kra. However, the nuclear microsatellite differentiation was less distinct than mtDNA haplotype differences, suggesting male-biased dispersal and population admixture. Overall, samples showed a weak isolation-by-distance effect. The isolated population on Samui island was most differentiated from the other samples. The results do not support our initial hypothesis of local host–pathogen co-evolution, which predicts a strict correspondence between the nuclear genome and the lineage of parasitic Varroa mite of the A. cerana samples, because the gene flow indicated by our nuclear microsatellite markers should also mix potential Varroa resistance alleles among subpopulations. Instead, our study suggests that the coincidental distribution of Varroa lineages and A. cerana population structure in Thailand are the result of biogeographic history and current migration patterns

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
biogeography, co-evolution, local adaptation, microsatellites, population structure, apis cerana, honey bees, Thailand, Varroa mite association, social insects, biology

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