Assessment of the mitochondrial origin of honey bees from Argentina
A H Abrahamovich, O Atela, P De la Rúa, J Galián
The molecular diversity of the honey bee Apis mellifera in the province of Buenos Aires (Argentina) has been analysed through the study of the mitochondrial DNA. The mitochondrial haplotype corresponding to the intergenic region tRNAleu-COII has been determined in samples from 300 colonies from 150 apiaries distributed in 71 localities of the province of Buenos Aires. Eight different haplotypes have been found, four of the African, three of the West European and one of the East European evolutionary lineages. The frequency of these haplotypes corroborates that the European yellow honey bee Apis mellifera ligustica is predominant in the Buenos Aires province whereas the black European bee A. m. mellifera is rare. The presence of the African haplotypes A1 and A4 common in Africanized honey bees, confirms a border of the africanization process located around the 30°–35° SL parallels. The other two African haplotypes (A8 and A11) are indicative of an Iberian or North African origin of some colonies. The influence of the transhumance and beekeeping practices is discussed in relation to the genetic variability detected.