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Intraspecific variation in the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA in Melipona subnitida (Hymenoptera, Apidae), an endemic stingless bee from northeastern Brazil

By Darci de Oliveira Cruz, Daniel Macedo de Melo Jorge, Júlio Otávio Portela Pereira, Davi Coe Torres, Carlos Eduardo Alves Soares, Breno Magalhães Freitas and Thalles Barbosa Grangeiro


Melipona subnitida is endemic to northeastern Brazil where it has been exploited for the production of honey. In this work, partial sequences (about 600 bp) of the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) of the ribosomal DNA were obtained from M. subnitida specimens collected in thirteen localities in northeastern Brazil. All the sequences were deposited in GenBank (accession numbers DQ078726-DQ078738). The mean nucleotide divergence (excluding sites with insertions/deletions) in the ITS1 sequences was about 5%, ranging from 0 to 13%. However, when the sites with insertions/deletions were taken into account each sequence was unique, with nucleotide divergences varying from 1.1 to 18%. The intraspecific variation in the M. subnitida ITS1 is therefore greater than most of those previously published studies comprising a wide range of organisms. This high variation is taken as an evidence of isolated populations evolving individually for a long period of time. This information is also of importance for the development of appropriate conservation strategies for this species

Publisher: EDP Sciences
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1051/apido:2006003
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