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Genetic characterization of Melipona subnitida populations (Apidae, Meliponini), a stingless bee of the Brazilian Northeast

Grant number: 13/20358-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2014
Effective date (End): January 01, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Tiago Mauricio Francoy
Grantee:Vanessa Bonatti
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/21101-8 - Phylogeography and conservation of Melipona subnitida bees (Apidae, Meliponini), BE.EP.DR


The pollination by bees is essential in terrestrial ecosystems for both agricultural production and environmental conservation. The decline of these essential pollinators, as it has already been recorded in various parts of the world, will probably lead to the extinction of many other species that rely on their services. Nowadays, there is a large concern related to global warming, that, according to the modeling and forecasts, can lead to changes in the spatial distribution of ecosystems and in their patterns of biodiversity. It is estimated that as a result of the rising temperatures, the animals from arid climates will expand their distribution, becoming of great importance for the future. The existence of an adapted apifauna to xerophytic conditions of Caatinga, with high potential for pollination, honey and pollen production and important role in the sustainable development of this ecosystem, its conservation becomes extremely relevant. Hence, considering the growing demand on pollinators that can be used on a large scale and the threatened status of this species, this work aims to genetically characterize natural and manipulated populations of Melipona subnitida based on the comparison of different molecular markers (SNPs, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA). The used tools will help us to clarify the high genetic variability found along the distribution of this species, which suggests the existence of different evolutionary lineages. It also will allow the association among different genotypes and different inhabited environments, helping us to establish conservation strategies for these bees. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FRANCOY, T. M.; BONATTI, V.; VIRAKTAMATH, S.; RAJANKAR, B. R. Wing morphometrics indicates the existence of two distinct phenotypic clusters within population of Tetragonula iridipennis (Apidae: Meliponini) from India. Insectes Sociaux, v. 63, n. 1, p. 109-115, FEB 2016. Web of Science Citations: 4.

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