2021-03-30Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/26795
Short-term effects of controlled mating and selection on the genetic variance of honeybee populations
An-Institute und nicht zur HU gehörige Einrichtungen
Directional selection in a population yields reduced genetic variance due to the Bulmer effect. While this effect has been thoroughly investigated in mammals, it is poorly studied in social insects with biological peculiarities such as haplo-diploidy or the collective expression of traits. In addition to the natural adaptation to climate change, parasites, and pesticides, honeybees increasingly experience artificial selection pressure through modern breeding programs. Besides selection, many honeybee breeding schemes introduce controlled mating. We investigated which individual effects selection and controlled mating have on genetic variance. We derived formulas to describe short-term changes of genetic variance in honeybee populations and conducted computer simulations to confirm them. Thereby, we found that the changes in genetic variance depend on whether the variance is measured between queens (inheritance criterion), worker groups (selection criterion), or both (performance criterion). All three criteria showed reduced genetic variance under selection. In the selection and performance criteria, our formulas and simulations showed an increased genetic variance through controlled mating. This newly described effect counterbalanced and occasionally outweighed the Bulmer effect. It could not be observed in the inheritance criterion. A good understanding of the different notions of genetic variance in honeybees, therefore, appears crucial to interpreting population parameters correctly.
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