Oral Annual Conference of the Genetics Society of Australasia with the NZ Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Phenotypically normal worker honey bees (Apis mellifera capensis) with three alleles at multiple microsatellite loci (554)

Benjamin Oldroyd 1
  1. University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Apis mellifera capensis (hereafter Capensis) is a subspecies of honey bee, whose distribution is confined to the Cape provinces of South Africa. We induced virgin Capensis queens to reproduce thelytokously (production of female offspring by parthenogenesis) by repeated narcosis with CO2, and then artificially inseminated them with drones from unrelated colonies. Many (24.3%) of the eggs laid post-insemination carried both maternal alleles and the alleles of one or more fathers. We then inseminated four virgin A. m. capensis queens with the semen of a single male of another subspecies. Many (16.6%) adult, female, offspring of these crosses carried two maternal alleles and one paternal allele, and the distribution of these alleles was homogeneous across tissues. SNP genotyping of the mothers, the fathers, and the three-allele female progeny showed that the progeny were diploid mosaics that most likely arose when two maternal pronuclei fused with a different sperm nucleus in the egg. We believe that this is the first report of two-zygote genetic mosaics in any insect.