, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 519-521
Date: 21 Feb 2013

A scientific note on diploid males in a reproductive event of a eusocial bee

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In Hymenoptera (ants, wasps, bees), sex determination is controlled by haplodiploidy, with fertilized eggs giving rise to diploid females and unfertilized eggs to haploid males (Whiting 1943; Cook and Crozier 1995). However, sex determination also depends on the combination of alleles at the complementary sex determination locus (CSD). It has been demonstrated that diploid individuals but homozygous at CSD emerge as diploid males, and such individuals are likely sterile (Whiting 1943; Cook and Crozier 1995). However, it has been shown that in several Hymenoptera species, the diploid males are able to mate and generate female offspring, albeit triploid (Liebert et al. 2004; Cournault and Aron 2009; Darvill et al. 2012). Hence, bee populations could be severally affected due the role of diploid male vortex in leading nest and population extinction (Zayed and Packer 2005).

In eusocial stingless bees (Meliponini), for example, diploid male production may be significant, c.a. 50 % of the nes ...