Analysis of environmental cues causing the seasonal change in PGM (Phosphoglucomutase) allozyme frequencies in honeybees (Apis Mellifera L)

Döke, Mehmet Ali
In an earlier project completed in our laboratory a seasonal fluctuation in Phosphoglucomutase (PGM) phenotype frequencies was found, so that the winter bees were almost all heterozygotes and long lived than the summer bees among which homozygotes were significantly at high frequencies at Pgm locus. Same results were obtained in populations of three subspecies, A. m. meda, A. m. caucasica, and A. m. carnica from different climatic regions. In the current study environmental cues related with seasonal change in PGM phenotype frequency was examined along with the correlation between PGM heterozygosity and overwintering success. Cessation of food influx was found to be effective by itself as an environmental cue that causes a sudden and sharp increase in PGM heterozygosity. In addition to that, PGM heterozygosity of the colonies with greater overwintering success was found to be significantly higher than the ones with intermediate or low overwintering success. Benefiting from the previous studies and the results of current study, ethyl oleate was suggested as a chemical signal that functions in the regulation of PGM heterozygosity.