Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (7): 912-926.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2022.07.013

• RESEARCH PAPERS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Morphological differentiation in the Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) in China (In English)

HU Xiang-Jie1, ZHOU Shu-Jing1, XU Xin-Jian1, YU Ying-Long2HU Jun-Jun3, ZHANG Zhong-Yin4, QI Wen-Zhong5, WANG Biao6YUAN Chun-Ying7, XI Fang-Gui8, ZHOU Bing-Feng1,*   

  1. (1. College of Animal Science (College of Bee Science), Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China; 2. Guizhou Institute of Integrated Agriculture Development, Guizhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guiyang 550006, China; 3. Guangxi Apiculture Guidance Station, Nanning 530000, China; 4. Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, Henan 453003, China; 5. Gansu Apiculture Technology Extension Station, Tianshui, Gansu 741020, China; 6. Guyuan Apiculture Experimental Station, Guyuan, Ningxia 756000, China; 7. Liaoning Agricultural Development Service Center, Xingcheng, Liaoning 125100, China; 8. Apicultural Research Institute of Jiangxi Province, Nanchang 330052, China)
  • Online:2022-07-20 Published:2022-08-10

Abstract: 【Aim】 The genetic differentiation research is an important link to understand the morphological diversity and adaptive evolution of honey bees. It is a prerequisite for the determination of the bioresource management unit and the protection unit and helps to protect the genetic resources of honey bees. This study aims to study the genetic differentiation and genetic resource distribution of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana across the geographical environment in China by analyzing morphological differentiation. 【Methods】 A total of 6 147 worker bees of A. cerana were collected from 102 sampling sites across the complete distribution area of A. cerana in China. Sixty worker bees of each sampling site from 10-20 colonies were dissected and 33 morphological characteristics associated with the wings, individual size, hind leg, and body color were measured. A multivariate morphometric analysis was conducted and clusters with their morphological traits and distribution patterns were identified. 【Results】 According to the cluster results of discriminant analysis and principal component analysis, A. cerana in China can be divided into 14 morphological clusters. Five clusters with smaller body size were identified. Hainan cluster had the smallest body size, followed by South Yunnan cluster, Taiwan cluster, Southern cluster, and Northern cluster. These five clusters were significantly different in proboscis length, forewing length, the structure of the 3rd submarginal cell in the forewing, body color, and the length of the wax plate. Changbai cluster had the largest cubital index, wax plate size, and width of the stripe of tomentum on tergite 5. However, Bomi cluster of Tibet had the smallest width of the stripe of tomentum on tergite 5 in China. Northwest cluster had the longest hind legs. Five clusters in the West Sichuan Plateau were characterized by larger individuals and black body color. Batang cluster had the smallest cubital index (3.0169) and the largest individual size in China. The cubital index of the Aba cluster was inferior only to that of the Changbai cluster, and the wing lengths and the sizes of sternite 7 were the largest. Derong cluster was the darkest. Yajiang cluster was unique in wing vein angles (A4, N23, E9 and J10 were the smallest and B4 the largest). Chuandian cluster had the smallest body size on the Western Sichuan Plateau. 【Conclusion】 In this study, the morphometric analysis of A. cerana was conducted based on collection of samples across the complete distribution area of A. cerana in China, especially those from Bomi of Tibet, Taiwan Province, and the Western Sichuan Plateau. Fourteen clusters of A. cerana were obtained in China, including Hainan cluster, southern Yunnan cluster, Changbai cluster, Taiwan cluster, Bomi cluster, Aba cluster, Batang cluster, Derong cluster, Yajiang cluster, Chuandian cluster, Chuangui cluster, Northwest cluster, Southern cluster, and Northern cluster. The results of this study provide a theoretical basis for the protection and exploitation of genetic resources of A. cerana in China.

Key words: Apis cerana, morphology, genetic differentiation, population, multivariate analysis