Comparative molecular cytogenetics in Melipona Illiger species (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

Vanderly Andrade-Souza, Olivia Maria Pereira Duarte, Cinthia Caroline Cardoso Martins, Igor Silva Santos, Márcio Gilberto Cardoso Costa, Marco Antonio Costa


Cytogenetic studies in Melipona are scarce with only 24 species analyzed cytogenetically. Of these, six species had the rDNA sites physically mapped and characterized by Fluorescent in situ Hybridization (fish). The aim of this study was to perform karyotype analyzes on Melipona species from different regions of Brazil, with a greater sampling representative of the Amazonian fauna and using conventional, fluorochrome staining and FISH with heterologous rDNA probes. The predominant chromosome number was 2n = 18, however, the subspecies M. seminigra abunensis and M. s. pernigra showed 2n = 22 chromosomes. The karyotypes were symmetrical, however M. bicolor, M. quadrifasciata, M. flavolineata, M. fuscopilosa, M. nebulosa presented the first pair heteromorphic in length. CMA3+ blocks also exhibited heteromorphism of size and in almost all cases coincided with rDNA sites, except for M. crinita and M. nebulosa, which presented additional non-coincident CMA3+ blocks. The CMA/ rDNA sites were terminal and interstitial in species with high heterochromatic content, and pericentromeric in those species with low heterochromatic content. In addition to pointing out cytogenetic features of cytotaxonomic importance, the reorganization of the genome in Melipona is discussed.


FISH; ribosomal genes; fluorochromes; heteromorphism; Amazonian bee fauna

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