Patterns of inheritance with RAPD molecular markers reveal novel types of polymorphism in the honey bee

Greg J. Hunt, Robert E. Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to generate random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) from honey bee DNA samples in order to follow the patterns of inheritance of RAPD markers in a haplodiploid insect. The genomic DNA samples from two parental bees, a haploid drone and a diploid queen, were screened for polymorphism with 68 different tennucleotide primers of random sequence. Parents were scored for the presence or absence of individual bands. An average of 6.3 bands and 1.3 polymorphisms for presence/absence were observed per primer between the parents. Thirteen of these primers were used to determine the inheritance of RAPD marker alleles in the resulting progeny and in haploid drones from a daughter queen. Four types of polymorphisms were observed. Polymorphisms for band presence/absence as well as for band brightness were inherited as dominant markers, meeting Mendelian expectations in haploid and diploid progeny. Polymorphisms for fragment-length were also observed. These segregated in a near 1:1 ratio in drone progeny. The last type of polymorphism was manifested as a diploid-specific band. Mixing of amplification products after PCR showed that the diploid-specific band was the result of heteroduplex formation from the DNA of alternate alleles in heterozygotes. In two of the four cases of heteroduplex formation, the alternative alleles were manifested as small fragment-length polymorphisms, resulting in co-dominant markers. This is the first demonstration that a proportion of RAPD markers are not inherited in a dominant fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 1992


  • Apis mellifera
  • Genetic markers
  • Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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