Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?
Actually due to the other genetic factors. the mating of a queen to it's brother is about the same thing as a female mating with it's own half clone. You can pretty much consider the drones clones of the queen that produced them. This does have the effect that bees have figured out how two females can mate and produce offspring. ever thought of that? The true Amazon.
Anyway this woudl result in a drastic in breeding effect and it is highly likely such genetic pairings could survive. The offspring woudl be subject to a wide variety of mutations and deformities.
In addition queens do not mate with just one drone. making it even more unlikely that every mating would be with a brother. There are other factors that prevent the likelihood that brother and sister will mate but they are not as well known and as far as I know not as well supported. One of them is that drones and queens travel significantly different distances during mating flights. As much as a two mile difference from some sources I have seen.
It is still pretty amazing that the bees has managed in effect to figure out how to get female to mate with a female via a surrogate carrier of one of the females genes and produce offspring.
One very interesting point in all this. Where did that female gene come from? If the queen only has a male gene. how did it become a female gene in the drone. I suspect the queen actually has a female and a male gene. but to produce a female bee (worker) it requires two doses of female genes. One from the queen and one from the drone to produce a female bee. So in actuality the drone is an exact clone of the queen except that it has only one female gene resulting in a male offspring.
I may very well be wrong but if I am right then the genetic make up of a queen woudl be XY X being male Y being female. The genetic makeup of a drone, any and all drones are also XY. Remember a drone is genetically identical to the queen that produced it.
So a queen that lays an unfertilized egg made an egg with XY chromosomes. Resulting in a male offspring. it takes two Y's to make a female. But when that males sperm is added to the egg of any queen you now have an XX YY chromosome. you now have the two y's required to produce a female and a female is the result. you do not end up with half females and half males because a double Y is dominant. This would demonstrate both dosage and dominant qualities of chromosomes.
Another way it might possibly happen is that bees only have one sex gene. the queen has one. the drone has the other. in this case we will call the chromosome Y. one Y results in a male. two Y's result in a female. Again allowing every drone to be a clone of the queens genetics but when those genes are combined with the genes of another queen. female offspring are the result
It also makes since that a female would have twice as many Y's (Whys) as a male. Women are always full of questions.
Okay I am ducking now.
Last edited by Daniel Y; 11-18-2012 at 07:29 AM.
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