2020-11-07Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/insects11110768
Substantial Genetic Progress in the International Apis mellifera carnica Population Since the Implementation of Genetic Evaluation
The Apis mellifera carnica subspecies of the honeybee has long been praised for its gentleness and good honey yield before systematic breeding efforts began in the early 20th century. However, before the introduction of modern techniques of genetic evaluation (best linear unbiased prediction, BLUP) and a computerized data management in the mid 1990s, genetic progress was slow. Here, the results of the official breeding value estimation in BeeBreed.eu are analyzed to characterize breeding progress and inbreeding. From about the year 2000 onward, the genetic progression accelerated and resulted in a considerable gain in honey yield and desirable properties without increased inbreeding coefficients. The prognostic quality of breeding values is demonstrated by a retrospective analysis. The success of A. m. carnica breeding shows the potential of BLUP-based breeding values and serves as an example for a large-scale breeding program.
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