Morphometric diversity and phylogenetic relationships among Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda Skorikow, 1829) populations using morphological characters

Ata Rahimi, Alinaghi Mirmoayedi, Danial Kahrizi, Leila Zarei, Samad Jamali


In this study, the morphometric diversity and phylogenetic relationships of Iranian honey bee populations, were investigated using 14 morphometric characteristics. A total of 2250 young adult worker bees from 20 different populations in 20 different provinces of Iran were collected during June to October 2014. The results of nested analysis of variance showed that there were significant differences (P<0.01) between the provinces for all analyzed morphometric traits indicating the existence of a diversity among them. Correlation coefficient analysis showed a high degree of association among the most of the traits. This correlation coefficient should be a putative mean to improve of certain characters in breeding of honey bee. Principal component analysis revealed three principal components explained 81.5% of the total variation. Cluster analysis using WARD method classified honey bee populations into two main groups. The first group includes the honey bees collected from North, Northwest and West portions of Iran. The second group was represented by the honey bees from Eastern North, Central and Southern regions of Iran. The phylogenetic tree based on UPGMA method divided 29 subspecies of honey bee to 5 distinct clusters. The Iranian subspecies honey bee composed of a shared clade with subspecies of Eastern Mediterranean, Near East and Eastern parts of Middle East (O branch).


Dendrogram, Genetic diversity, Iranian honey bee, Morphology, Phylogenetic relationships

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