Genome Study Disputes Birthplace of Honeybees
In a study published in Nature Genetics, researchers from Uppsala Univ. have presented the first global analysis of genome variation in honeybees. The findings show a surprisingly high level of genetic diversity in honeybees, and indicate that the species most probably originates from Asia, and not from Africa as previously thought.
The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is of crucial importance for humanity. One third of our food is dependent on the pollination of fruits, nuts and vegetables by bees and other insects. Extensive losses of honeybee colonies in recent years are a major cause for concern. Honeybees face threats from disease, climate change and management practices. To combat these threats it is important to understand the evolutionary history of honeybees and how they are adapted to different environments across the world.
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