over three decades One bee is able to create millions of clones of its own. Thanks to hitting the peculiar genetic jackpot.
This growing army of clones poses a serious risk to the hive of honey bees in the lowlands of Africa, with 10% of them collapsing every year. Due to the muddy colonies that ate their resources, refused to participate in the work.
Scientists have described the bee’s reproductive mechanism as “incredible” and descended from a single living worker bee in the 1990s, according to research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
It was previously known that the Cape honeybee subspecies are able to create perfect copies of themselves. But this poses serious problems for genetic diversity.
Many social insects can reproduce asexually. It produces female offspring from unfertilized eggs using two of the four chromosomes replicated from their parents.
These chromosomes are interchanged in the process. This means that the next generation will have genetic differences. But there is a limit to how many versions can be duplicated with this method.
This is because only two chromosomes are passed on and cannot carry new genetic material to the next generation. Every time the worker bee reproduces in this manner A species loses about a third of its genetic material.
This is why most social insects rely on queens for reproduction. by preserving the genetic diversity of colonies made up of related insects.
But a new study finds that mutations in Cape honey bee worker bees allow them to transmit all the genetic information of all four chromosomes from their parents. This allows the subspecies to clone themselves for decades. even at the cost of genetic diversity
Professor Benjamin Oldroyd, lead researcher, told Live Science. WordsideKick.com Describing the findings as “incredible”; and “incredibly unusual”, “Somehow, they can. It’s crazy. I’ve never heard of anything like it anywhere.”
It is not yet clear what will be the end of the clone army. But Professor Oldroy suggested that it might be the end of evolution. It’s not just because the cloning system suppresses genetic variation. But it may also hinder the clone’s self-interest. ability to respond to disasters
“For example If you take the queen out Instead of raising a new queen like other bees These bees will start laying their eggs on their own,” Professor Oldroy told Live Science. WordsideKick.com
“There are still cells called queen cells. in which the queen will spawn with a future queen It is very likely that the workers flew in from other colonies. Or one of the workers in the colony replaced the queen egg. One of their cloned eggs. In this way, they can be genetically reincarnated as queens.”
Because Cape bees are reproductive. therefore does not contribute to any work inside the nest where it interferes
“They were just wandering around. With attitudes like ‘yes, you’ll work for me,’ it quickly led to the collapse of the nest,” added Professor Oldroy.
“As an individual These clones are quite unusual. So you expect them to disappear. But they are very much like tumor cells in this regard – it doesn’t matter if every clones are healthy, as long as they are sufficient to exploit the host.”