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How the stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) colonize an area? A Case Study - Mitochondrial haplotypes of Partamona cupira (Smith, 1863) in its areas of occurrence in the Cerrado.

Grant number: 13/21799-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2013
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal researcher:Marco Antonio Del Lama
Grantee:Mariana Cristina Dessi
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Alterations of the natural landscape have been produced and this has affected the bee populations, either by the habitat fragmentation or by the loss of nesting sites. Otherwise, peculiar biological traits of these insects as haplodiploidy, the complementary sex determination (csd) mechanism, the eusociality, the monandric mating system and the colony reproduction by swarming influence the genetics of their populations. Some of these factors interferes upon the maternal gene flow, and the population become viscous. Partamona cupira is a social stingless bee that occurs in areas of the cerrado of the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Goias, in Brazil. This species builds its nests inside termite ground nests. Aiming to verify the viscosity level of stingless bee populations, this work is proposed to test the hypothesis that the P. cupira populations are genetically structured when viewed through the mitochondrial genes due to the fact that each colonization event is made by a reduced number of founder colonies or maternal lineages. We will also verify if P. cupira females nest inside active or inactive termite nests and what are the termite species that host the bee colonies. This work will bring some new information about how P. cupira spreads in this severely threatened phytogeographical domain.

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