A pilot study on genetic diversity in Indian honeybees-Apis cerana of Karnataka populations
Chethana V Chalapathy, H.P. Puttaraju, V. Sivaram
Unravelling the genetic diversity studies of Apis cerana, the indigenous strain of India is very much essential as it provides significant guidance to beekeepers about breeding strategies that would aide in theirrncolonies to survive. There are two predominant species of Indian honey bees, Apis cerana cerana (black strain) and Apis cerana indica (yellow strain). Currently there are no reports on diversity studies on these subspecies are available. The current research in this paper describes the pilot study undertook to evaluate the genetic diversity of Apis cerana from populations of Karnataka. Bee colonies from 12 localities of Karnataka have been genetically characterized through COI gene of mitochondrial genome, providing discreet characteristics for intra-specific diversity studies. This has led to infer the taxonomic status of two subspecies of Apis cerana. The results suggest that Indian populations have larger effective size and genetic diversity. The paper discusses the possibility of introduction of honeybees in India in evolutionary time frame and resolving the diversity in Indian honeybees by assessing the phylogeography.