The quality of the honeybee queen has an important effect on a colony’s development, productivity, and survival. Queen failure or loss is considered a leading cause for colonies’ mortality worldwide. The queen’s quality, resulting from her genetic background, developmental conditions, mating success, and environment, can be assessed by some morphological measures. The study aims to investigate variability for traits that could assess the quality of the queen. Related animals were enrolled in this study. Variance components were estimated fitting a mixed animal model to collected data. Heritabilities of body and tagmata weights ranged from 0.46 to 0.54, whereas lower estimates were found for the tagmata width and wing length. Heritabilities estimated for the spermatheca diameter and volume, number of ovarioles, and number of sperms were 0.17, 0.88, 0.70, and 0.57, respectively. Many phenotypic correlations related to size were high and positive, while weak correlations were found between morphology and reproductive traits. Introducing a queen’s traits in a selection program could improve colonies’ survivability. Further research should focus on better defining the correlations between the individual qualities of a queen and her colony’s performance.

Investigating genetic and phenotypic variability of queen bees: Morphological and reproductive traits / E. Facchini, M.G. De Iorio, F. Turri, F. Pizzi, D. Laurino, M. Porporato, R. Rizzi, G. Pagnacco. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 11:11(2021 Oct 26), pp. 3054.1-3054.13. [10.3390/ani11113054]

Investigating genetic and phenotypic variability of queen bees: Morphological and reproductive traits

E. Facchini
Primo
Conceptualization
;
M.G. De Iorio
Secondo
Methodology
;
R. Rizzi
Penultimo
Formal Analysis
;
G. Pagnacco
Ultimo
Conceptualization
2021

Abstract

The quality of the honeybee queen has an important effect on a colony’s development, productivity, and survival. Queen failure or loss is considered a leading cause for colonies’ mortality worldwide. The queen’s quality, resulting from her genetic background, developmental conditions, mating success, and environment, can be assessed by some morphological measures. The study aims to investigate variability for traits that could assess the quality of the queen. Related animals were enrolled in this study. Variance components were estimated fitting a mixed animal model to collected data. Heritabilities of body and tagmata weights ranged from 0.46 to 0.54, whereas lower estimates were found for the tagmata width and wing length. Heritabilities estimated for the spermatheca diameter and volume, number of ovarioles, and number of sperms were 0.17, 0.88, 0.70, and 0.57, respectively. Many phenotypic correlations related to size were high and positive, while weak correlations were found between morphology and reproductive traits. Introducing a queen’s traits in a selection program could improve colonies’ survivability. Further research should focus on better defining the correlations between the individual qualities of a queen and her colony’s performance.
Bee breeding; Genetic parameters; Heritability; Honeybee queen; Morphological traits; Reproductive traits
Settore AGR/17 - Zootecnica Generale e Miglioramento Genetico
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/882262
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