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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Genetic diversity and parasite prevalence in two species of bumblebee
Authors: Whitehorn, Penelope R
Tinsley, M C
Brown, Mark J F
Darvill, Ben
Goulson, Dave
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Keywords: Inbreeding
Social insects
Issue Date: Aug-2014
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Whitehorn PR, Tinsley MC, Brown MJF, Darvill B & Goulson D (2014) Genetic diversity and parasite prevalence in two species of bumblebee, Journal of Insect Conservation, 18 (4), pp. 667-673.
Abstract: Many bumblebee species have been suffering from significant declines across their ranges in the Northern Hemisphere over the last few decades. The remaining populations of the rare species are now often isolated due to habitat fragmentation and have reduced levels of genetic diversity. The persistence of these populations may be threatened by inbreeding depression, which may result in a higher susceptibility to parasites. Here we investigate the relationship between genetic diversity and prevalence of the parasitic mite Locustacarus buchneri in bumblebees, using the previously-studied system of Bombus muscorum and Bombus jonellus in the Western Isles of Scotland. We recorded L. buchneri prevalence in 17 populations of B. muscorum and 13 populations of B. jonellus and related the results to levels of heterozygosity. For B. muscorum, we found that prevalence of the mite was higher in populations with lower genetic diversity but there was no such relationship in the more genetically diverse B. jonellus. In contrast to population-level measures of genetic diversity, the heterozygosity of individual bees was not correlated with infection status. We suggest population-level genetic homogeneity may facilitate parasite transmission and elevate prevalence, with potential consequences for population persistence.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of London
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Sussex

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