Morphometrics and DNA microsatellites were used to analyse the genetic structure of populations of the stingless bee M. beecheii from two extremes of its geographic range. The results showed that populations from Costa Rica and Yucatan exhibit substantial phenotypic and molecular differentiation. Bees from Yucatan were smaller and paler than those from Costa Rica. The value of multilocus F-ST = 0.280 (P <0.001) confirmed that there were significant molecular genetic differences between the two populations. Populations showed significant deviation from Hardy Weinberg equilibrium and the values of FIS (the inbreeding coefficient) were positive for Costa Rica = 0.416 and the Yucatan Peninsula = 0.193, indicating a lack of heterozygotes in both populations possibly due to inbreeding. The DNA sequence of 678 bp of the mitochondrial gene COI differed between populations by 1.2%. The results of this study should be considered in conservation programmes, particularly with regard to the movement of colonies between regions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science