Major quantitative trait loci affecting honey bee foraging behavior

G. J. Hunt, R. E. Page, M. K. Fondrk, C. J. Dullum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


We identified two genomic regions that affect the amount of pollen stored in honey bee colonies and influence whether foragers will collect pollen or nectar. We selected for the amount of pollen stored in combs of honey bee colonies, a colony-level trait, and then used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers and interval mapping procedures with data from backcross colonies to identify two quantitative trait loci (pln1 and pln2, LOD 3.1 and 2.3, respectively). Quantitative trait loci effects were confirmed in a separate cross by demonstrating the cosegregation of marker alleles with the foraging behavior of individual workers. Both pln1 and pln2 had an effect on the amount of pollen carried by foragers returning to the colony, as inferred by the association between linked RAPD marker alleles, D8-3f and 301-55, and the individual pollen load weights of returning foragers. The alleles of the two marker loci were nonrandomly distributed with respect to foraging task. The two loci appeared to have different effects on foraging behavior. Individuals with alternative alleles for the marker linked to pln2 (but not pln1) differed with respect to the nectar sugar concentration of their nectar loads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1545
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 15 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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