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Comparative study of enzyme polymorphism in usa and european honey bee hymenoptera apidae populations

, : Comparative study of enzyme polymorphism in usa and european honey bee hymenoptera apidae populations. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 81(6): 886-889

Thirty-nine colonies of commercial and feral Apis mellifera L. from throughout the United States were surveyed for electrophoretic variation of enzymes known to be polymorphic in the species. These data and those from other studies on U.S. and European honey bees were analyzed to determine the population genetic effects of the bottleneck that accompanied the introduction of this Old World species into the United States. When U.S. populations are compared with those of the Old World, a loss of variation is evident in both the number of polymorphic enzymes and the number of allozymes per polymorphic locus. Evidence is presented for the existence in the United States of a feral gene pool containing an allozyme (Mdh80) common only in A. mellifera mellifera, the first European race to be introduced in the United States. The Mdh100 allozyme also was found in relatively high frequency in feral and commercial colonies and cannot be considered "diagnostic" of Africanization in New World honey bees or as a unique character of any African race of A. mellifera, unless a considerable Africanization process has already occurred in the United States.


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