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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Breeding, Genetics, Stock Improvement and Management of Russian Honey Bees for Mite and Small Hive Beetle Control and Pollination

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Title: Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees

Authors
item Bourgeois, Lanie
item Sheppard, Walter -
item Sylvester, H
item Rinderer, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 2010
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Citation: Bourgeois, A.L., Sheppard, W.S., Sylvester, H.A., Rinderer, T.E. 2010. Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees. Journal of Economic Entomology. 103(3):917-924.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA-ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Laboratory in Baton Rouge, LA released a stock of Russian honey bees to the Russian Bee Breeders Association in 2008. A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish these Russian honey bees from other European stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. With the assay, Russian honey bees can be distinguished from non-Russian bees with 93% accuracy. A test of appropriate sample size showed that a sample of 8 bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. The certification assay will be used by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to certify their stock.

Technical Abstract: A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. A total of 11 microsatellite and 5 SNP loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group and for differences in allele frequencies between groups. A baseline sample set consisted of the 18 lines of Russian honey bees released to the Russian Bee Breeders Association and bees from 34 queen breeders representing commercially produced European honey bee stocks. Suitability tests of the baseline sample pool showed high levels of accuracy. The probability of correct assignment was 94.2% for non-Russian bees and 93.3% for Russian bees. A neighbor-joining phenogram representing genetic distance data showed clear distinction of Russian and non-Russian honey bee stocks. Further, a test of appropriate sample size showed that a sample of 8 bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. An additional 34 samples were tested as blind samples (origin unknown to those collecting data) to determine accuracy of individual assignment tests. Only one of these samples was incorrectly assigned. The certification assay will be used by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to certify their stock.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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