Genetic structure of Apis mellifera macedonica in the Balkan Peninsula based on microsatellite DNA polymorphism
Aleksandar Uzunov, Marina D Meixner, Hrisula Kiprijanovska, Sreten Andonov, Aleš Gregorc, Evgeniya Ivanova, Maria Bouga, Petrit Dobi, Ralph Büchler, Roy Francis and Per Kryger
The genetic variability of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) from south eastern Europe was investigated using microsatellite analyses of 107 samples from Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria together with 42 reference samples (Apis mellifera carnica) from Slovenia. Genetic structure and spatial analyses of the microsatellite data showed a clear distinction between the Slovenian bees and all other populations, and confirmed the existence of Apis mellifera macedonica as an indigenous honey bee population in the regions that were sampled. In most areas however, varying degrees of introgression with A. m. carnica alleles could be observed, probably as a consequence of propagating imported queens. Within A. m. macedonica, a certain degree of subdivision between the honey bee populations from Bulgaria and the other regions was detected, confirming earlier reports of variation within this subspecies.