Genetic dissection of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging behavior

R. E. Page, M. Fondrk, G. J. Hunt, E. Guzmán-Novoa, M. A. Humphries, K. Nguyen, A. S. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


We demonstrate the effects of a new quantitative trait locus (QTL), designated pln3, that was mapped in a backcross population derived from strains of bees selected for the amount of pollen they store in combs. We independently confirmed pln3 by demonstrating its effects on individual foraging behavior, as we did previously for QTLs pln1 and pln2 (Hunt et al. 1995). QTL pln2 is very robust in its effects on foraging behavior. In this study, pln2 was again shown to affect individual foraging behavior of workers derived from a hybrid backcross of the selected strains. In addition, pln2 was shown to affect the amount of pollen stored in combs of colonies derived from a wide cross of European and Africanized honeybees. This is noteworthy because it demonstrates that we can map QTLs for behavior in interstrain crosses derived from selective breeding and study their effects in unselected, natural populations. The results we present also demonstrate the repeatability of finding QTLs with measurable effects, even after outcrossing selected strains, suggesting that there is a relatively small subset of QTLs with major effects segregating in the population from which we selected our founding breeding populations. The different QTLs, pln1, pln2, and pln3, appear to have different effects, revealing the complex genetic architecture of honeybee foraging behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-479
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic dissection of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this