Honeybees have a “surprisingly high level of genetic diversity” and probably originated in Asia, not Africa.These are some of the findings researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden who have recently published an article in Nature Genetics.
Here is what phys.org had to say in its summary:
Honeybees face threats from disease, climate change, and management practices. To combat these threats it is important to understand the evolutionary history of honeybees and how they are adapted to different environments across the world.
“We have used state-of-the-art high-throughput genomics to address these questions, and have identified high levels of genetic diversity in honeybees. In contrast to other domestic species, management of honeybees seems to have increased levels of genetic variation by mixing bees from different parts of the world. The findings may also indicate that high levels of inbreeding are not a major cause of global colony losses”, says Matthew Webster, researcher at the department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University. (quoted material)Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-08-evolutionary-history-honeybees-revealed-genomics.html#jCp
The chief researcher, Matthew Webster, adds: “The evolutionary tree we constructed from genome sequences does not support an origin in Africa, this gives us new insight into how honeybees spread and became adapted to habitats across the world”
Keywords: honeybee genetics, genomes, genetic history of honeybees, evolutionary history of honeybees, Uppsala University, Matthew Webster, Phys.org, Nature Genetics