Evidence of separate karyotype evolutionary pathway in Euglossa orchid bees by cytogenetic analyses

Article English OPEN
  • Publisher: Academia Brasileira de Ciências
  • Journal: (issn: 1678-2690)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1590/S0001-37652013005000050
  • Subject: Q | Euglossini | Citogenetica | heterocromatina | Science | evolucao cariotipica | Cytogenetics | karyotypic evolution | heterochromatin
    mesheuropmc: fungi

Euglossini are solitary bees considered important pollinators of many orchid species. Information regarding chromosome organization is available for only a small number of species in this group. In the present work, the species Euglossa townsendi and E. carolina were analyzed by cytogenetic techniques to collect information that may aid the understanding of their evolution and chromosomal organization. The chromosome number found was n = 21 for males and 2n = 42 for females in the two species. The distribution and amount of heterochromatin regions differed in the two species analyzed, where they were classified as “high” or “low” heterochromatin content, similarly to what has already been performed in social bee species of the genus Melipona. Banding patterns found in this study suggest that other mechanisms may have occurred in the karyotype evolution of this group, unlike those suggested for social bees and ants. Karyotype evolution of solitary bees appears to have occurred as an event separate from other hymenopterans and did not involve chromosome fissions and heterochromatin amplification.