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Non-lethal sampling of honey bee, Apis mellifera, DNA using wing tips
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 23:35 authored by Nicolas Châline, Francis Ratnieks, Nigel E Raine, Nichola S Badcock, Terry Burke
DNA sampling of insects frequently relies upon lethal or invasive methods. Because insect colonies contain numerous workers it is often possible to destructively sample workers for genetic analysis. However, this is not possible if queens or workers must remain alive after sampling. Neither is it possible to remove an entire leg, wing or other appendage as this will often hinder normal behaviour. This study investigates the possibility of genotyping queen honey bees Apis mellifera using DNA extracted from wing tips so that flight and other activities are unaffected. Our results show that wing tip samples (c. 1.3 mm2) provide good quality DNA which gives reliable genotypes when PCR amplified (94.3% success rate). Wing tip DNA sampling will permit a variety of novel research approaches, including genotyping of queens at emergence in breeding programs where certain patrilines or genotypes are preferred, and genotyping workers and queens which must behave normally following sampling.
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- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications
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