Apis mellifera

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The domesticated honeybee. There are about 25 races recognized, but the ones most commonly used are the Italian, Caucasian, Carniolan, and German races. These are generally referred to as European bees, to distinguish them from African bees (q.v.). Bees reproduce by arrhenotokous parthenogenesis (q.v.). An alternative spelling, A. mellifica, also occurs in the literature. The honeybee is of interest because of its neural and behavioral plasticity with regard to social behavior, learning, and memory. Recently DNA microarray technology (q.v.) has been used to identify expression profiles of the genes that characterize worker/queen caste differentiation and to detect the subset of genes that is transcribed specifically in the brains of adult workers. See Classification, Animalia, Arthropoda, Hexapoda, Pterygota, Neoptera, Holometabola, Hymenoptera; Chronology, 1999, Evans and Wheeler.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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