Uncovering Markers for Honey Production and Defensive Behaviour Using Pooled Genome-Wide Data with the Honeybee (Apis Mellifera)
Rose, Stephen Anthony
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The honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been an important insect for both the study of social insect behaviour and agriculture. Honey production and defensive behaviour are honeybees two notable and economically valuable traits. Here we perform a genome-wide association study on 925 honeybee colonies from across Canada to elucidate the genetics of these two traits. We find that 168 SNPs for honey production and 41 SNPs for defensive behaviour are significantly associated with their respective phenotypes. Moreover, using genome-wide data, we achieved a predictive performance for honey production of Rsq= 27.1% and for defensive behaviour an accuracy of 77.5%. My research shows how genome-wide data can be used both for understanding the genetics of honey production and defensive behaviour in honeybees and for predicting the phenotypes of individual colonies using machine learning techniques.