The genomic basis of evolutionary differentiation among honey bees.

TitleThe genomic basis of evolutionary differentiation among honey bees.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsFouks, B, Brand, P, Nguyen, HN, Herman, J, Camara, F, Ence, D, Hagen, DE, Hoff, KJ, Nachweide, S, Romoth, L, Walden, KKO, Guigó, R, Stanke, M, Narzisi, G, Yandell, M, Robertson, HM, Koeniger, N, Chantawannakul, P, Schatz, MC, Worley, KC, Robinson, GE, Elsik, CG, Rueppell, O
JournalGenome Res
Date Published2021 May 04

In contrast to the western honey bee, , other honey bee species have been largely neglected despite their importance and diversity. The genetic basis of the evolutionary diversification of honey bees remains largely unknown. Here, we provide a genome-wide comparison of three honey bee species, each representing one of the three subgenera of honey bees, namely the dwarf (), giant (), and cavity-nesting () honey bees with bumblebees as an outgroup. Our analyses resolve the phylogeny of honey bees with the dwarf honey bees diverging first. We find that evolution of increased eusocial complexity in proceeds via increases in the complexity of gene regulation, which is in agreement with previous studies. However, this process seems to be related to pathways other than transcriptional control. Positive selection patterns across reveal a trade-off between maintaining genome stability and generating genetic diversity, with a rapidly evolving piRNA pathway leading to genomes depleted of transposable elements, and a rapidly evolving DNA repair pathway associated with high recombination rates in all species. Diversification within is accompanied by positive selection in several genes whose putative functions present candidate mechanisms for lineage-specific adaptations, such as migration, immunity, and nesting behavior.

Alternate JournalGenome Res
PubMed ID33947700
PubMed Central IDPMC8256857
Grant ListR15 GM102753 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R21 AG046837 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U54 HG003273 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States