Quantitative trait loci for honey bee stinging behavior and body size

Greg J. Hunt, Ernesto Guzmán-Novoa, M. Kim Fondrk, Robert E. Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


A study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect colony-level stinging behavior and individual body size of honey bees. An F1 queen was produced from a cross between a queen of European origin and a drone descended from an African subspecies. Haploid drones from the hybrid queen were individually backcrossed to sister European queens to produce 172 colonies with backcross workers that were evaluated for tendency to sting. Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers were scored from the haploid drone fathers of these colonies. Wings of workers and drones were used as a measure of body size because Africanized bees in the americas are smaller than European bees. Standard interval mapping and multiple QTL models were used to analyze data. One possible QTL was identified with a significant effect on tendency to sting (LOD 3.57). Four other suggestive QTLs were also observed (about LOD 1.5). Possible QTLs also were identified that affect body size and were unlinked to defensive-behavior QTLs. Two of these were significant (LOD 3.54 and 5.15).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1213
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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