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Africanized honeybees: an integrated analysis of the africanization process of Apis mellifera, focusing on determinants in fertility of drones, queens and workers

Grant number: 99/00719-6
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: November 01, 1999 - February 28, 2006
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biology
Principal Investigator:Zilá Luz Paulino Simões
Grantee:Zilá Luz Paulino Simões
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Ademilson Espencer Egea Soares


The introduction of Apis mellifera queens from Africa, and the subsequent spreading of Africanized bees (hybrids between existent European lineages and the African matrices) caused profound changes in Brazilian apiculture. Even though it is quite clear now that Africanized bees and European ones exhibit differences in their reproductive strategies, few studies have addressed this question, and most of the innumerous research projects on Africanized bees concentrated on the impact on apiculture caused by these bees. The present project is an integrated approach which focuses primarily on parameters determining reproductive rates in these bees, in comparison to European lineages. This project proposes an integrated approach to the various levels concerning aspects of reproduction, from the individual-molecular level to behavioral aspects on the population level. Analyses of micro satellites and mitochondrial DNA will be carried out on specimens collected in 1968 during the initial phase of the spreading of the Africanized genotype, and these analyses will be compared with genotypes collected in recent times at the same locality. This population genetic study should give us an idea on reproductive barriers between subspecies of Apis mellifera. The investigation of reproductive barriers will involve detailed analyses of mechanisms acting on the individual level. We will focus primarily on gametogenesis and development of the reproductive tract in the male Sex drones) and in the female castes (queens and workers). Since gametogenesis in the hymenopterans. is an area which, in general, has received little attention, the studies focussing on Africanization will automatically produce a series of results and descriptions which are of general interest to this order, and also for our understanding of other social insects. Gametogenesis in the hymenopterans presents many peculiarities, such as a partially abortive meiosis in the male sex, compensating for their haploidy. In the female sex, the reproductive tract exhibits a strong morphological divergence between queens and workers. This divergence primarily results from progressive degeneration of ovarioles due to programmed cell death during the last larval instar... (AU)

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Scientific publications (15)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
COLONELLO-FRATTINI‚ N.A.; HARTFELDER‚ K.. Differential gene expression profiling in mucus glands of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones during sexual maturation. Apidologie, v. 40, n. 4, p. 481-495, . (99/00719-6, 05/03926-5)
GUIDUGLI‚ K.R.; NASCIMENTO‚ A.M.; AMDAM‚ G.V.; BARCHUK‚ A.R.; OMHOLT‚ S.; SIMÕES‚ Z.L.P.; HARTFELDER‚ K.. Vitellogenin regulates hormonal dynamics in the worker caste of a eusocial insect. FEBS Letters, v. 579, n. 22, p. 4961-4965, . (99/00719-6)
TANAKA, ERICA DONATO; HARTFELDER, KLAUS. Sequence and expression pattern of the germ line marker vasa in honey bees and stingless bees. GENETICS AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, v. 32, n. 3, p. 582-U384, . (99/00719-6)
BARCHUK‚ A.R.; CRISTINO‚ A.S.; KUCHARSKI‚ R.; COSTA‚ L.F.; SIMÕES‚ Z.L.P.; MALESZKA‚ R.. Molecular determinants of caste differentiation in the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera. BMC Developmental Biology, v. 7, n. 1, p. 70, . (05/00587-5, 05/03926-5, 99/00719-6)
COSTA, ROSILEIA A. C.; DA CRUZ-LANDIM, CARMINDA. Hydrolases in the hypopharyngeal glands of workers of Scaptotrigona postica and Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apinae). Genetics and Molecular Research, v. 4, n. 4, p. 8-pg., . (99/00719-6)
BARCHUK, ANGEL R.; CRISTINO, ALEXANDRE S.; KUCHARSKI, ROBERT; COSTA, LUCIANO F.; SIMÕES, ZILÁ L. P.; MALESZKA, RYSZARD. Molecular determinants of caste differentiation in the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera. BMC Developmental Biology, v. 7, n. 70, . (05/03926-5, 99/00719-6, 05/00587-5)
NASCIMENTO, ADRIANA MENDES DO; CUVILLIER-HOTA, VIRGINIE; BARCHUK, ANGEL ROBERTO; SIMÕES, ZILÁ LUZ PAULINO; HARTFELDER, KLAUS. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) transferrin-gene structure and the role of ecdysteroids in the developmental regulation of its expression. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, v. 34, n. 5, p. 415-424, . (99/00719-6)
AMDAM, GRO V.; HARTFELDER, KLAUS; NORBERG, KARI; HAGEN, ARNE; OMHOLT, STIG W.. Altered physiology in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae) infested with the mite Varroa destructor (Acari : Varroidae): A factor in colony loss during overwintering?. Journal of Economic Entomology, v. 97, n. 3, p. 741-747, . (99/00719-6)
NUNES‚ F.M.F.; VALENTE‚ V.; SOUSA‚ J.F.; CUNHA‚ M.A.V.; PINHEIRO‚ D.G.; MAIA‚ R.M.; ARAUJO‚ D.D.; COSTA‚ M.C.R.; MARTINS‚ W.K.; CARVALHO‚ A.F.; et al. The use of Open Reading frame ESTs (ORESTES) for analysis of the honey bee transcriptome. BMC Genomics, v. 5, n. 1, p. 84, . (99/00719-6, 98/14247-6)
COLONELLO‚ N.A.; HARTFELDER‚ K.. Protein content and pattern during mucus gland maturation and its ecdysteroid control in honey bee drones. Apidologie, v. 34, n. 3, p. 257-268, . (99/00719-6)
CRISTINO‚ AS; NUNES‚ FMF; LOBO‚ CH; BITONDI‚ MMG; SIMÕES‚ ZLP; DA FONTOURA COSTA‚ L.; LATTORFF‚ HMG; MORITZ‚ RFA; EVANS‚ JD; HARTFELDER‚ K.. Caste development and reproduction: a genome-wide analysis of hallmarks of insect eusociality. Insect Molecular Biology, v. 15, n. 5, p. 703-714, . (99/00719-6)
COLONELLO‚ N.A.; HARTFELDER‚ K.. She’s my girl-male accessory gland products and their function in the reproductive biology of social bees. Apidologie, v. 36, n. 2, p. 231-244, . (99/00719-6)
TANAKA, E. D.; HARTFELDER, K.. The initial stages of oogenesis and their relation to differential fertility in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) castes. ARTHROPOD STRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT, v. 33, n. 4, p. 431-442, . (99/00719-6)

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