An Alternative, High Throughput Method to Identify Csd Alleles of the Honey Bee
Applying instrumental insemination in closely related honey bee colonies often leads to frequent lethality of offspring causing colony collapse. This is due to the peculiarities of honey bee reproductive biology, where the complementary sex determination (csd) gene drives sex determination within a haplodiploid system. Diploid drones containing homozygous genotypes are lethal. Tracking of csd alleles using molecular markers prevents this unwanted event in closed breeding programs. Our approach
... escribed here is based on high throughput sequencing (HTS) that provides more data than traditional molecular techniques and is capable of analysing sources containing multiple alleles, including diploid individuals as the bee queen. The approach combines HTS technique and clipping wings as a minimally invasive method to detect the complementary sex determiner (csd) alleles directly from honey bee queens. Furthermore, it might also be suitable for screening alleles of honey harvested from hives of a closed breeding facility. Data on alleles of the csd gene from different honey bee subspecies are provided. It might contribute to future databases that could potentially be used to track the origin of honey. With the help of tracking csd alleles, more focused crossings will be possible, which could in turn accelerate honey bee breeding programmes targeting increase tolerance against varroosis as well.