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Morphologic analysis and phenotypic variations observed in the acid glands of Apis mellifera L 1758 africanized worker bees HYM Apidae in the region of Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil Analise morfologica e variacoes fenotipicas observadas na glandula acida em operarias de Apis mellifera L 1758 africanizadas HYM Apidae na regiao de Dourados - Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil



Morphologic analysis and phenotypic variations observed in the acid glands of Apis mellifera L 1758 africanized worker bees HYM Apidae in the region of Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil Analise morfologica e variacoes fenotipicas observadas na glandula acida em operarias de Apis mellifera L 1758 africanizadas HYM Apidae na regiao de Dourados - Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil



Biotemas. novembro; 182: 99-115



In Apis mellifera, the acid gland can present atypical branching. It is composed of secretor cells that surround a canal leading into a non-muscular reservoir. We proposed to evaluate the morphology of the gland in worker bees of genetically distinct colonies, in terms of the presence and size of branching, the length of the main duct of the reservoir up to the branching point, and the total length of the gland. It was observed that the presence of branching varied from 30% to 76% with overhead single bar X = 59% plus or minus 11.5%, and its length varied from 0.13mm plus or minus 0.24mm to 1.03mm plus or minus 1.54mm with overhead single bar X = 0.53mm plus or minus 0.27mm; the variation in size of the main duct was from 5.97mm plus or minus 1.61mm to 20.95mm plus or minus 6.66mm with overhead single bar X = 12.3mm plus or minus 5.7mm; the distance from the reservoir to the branching point was from 5.52mm plus or minus 1.84mm to 19.53mm plus or minus 6.42mm with overhead single bar X = 11.42mm plus or minus 5.31mm, and the total length of the gland varied from 6.22mm plus or minus 1.60mm and 21.98mm plus or minus 7.40mm with overhead single bar X = 12.86mm plus or minus 5.88mm. A large phenotypic variation was evident. The samples presented branching in at least 30% of the individuals, this characteristic being considered primitive. However, glands without branching suggest an evolution in that direction for this type of bee in the region. Concerning the genetic characteristics of the gland, in 31% of the colonies the workers presented small poison glands, genotype recessive homozygotes gm1gm1 and gm2gm2; in 69%, the workers presented large glands in heterozygote Gm2gm1 and dominant homozygotes Gm1Gm1 and Gm2Gm2. These results indicate a concentration of bees with large acid glands in the region, favoring a selection process for the production of poison.

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