University of Oulu

Namin, S.M., Park, TY., Jung, C. et al. Molecular characteristics of Bombus (Alpinobombus) polaris from North Greenland with comments on its general biology and phylogeography. Polar Biol 44, 2209–2216 (2021).

Molecular characteristics of Bombus (Alpinobombus) polaris from North Greenland with comments on its general biology and phylogeography

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Author: Namin, Saeed Mohamadzade1,2; Park, Tae-Yoon3,4; Jung, Chuleui1,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Plant Medicals, Andong National University, Andong, 36729, Republic of Korea
2Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Varamin-Pishva Branch, Islamic Azad University, Varamin, 3381774895, Iran
3Division of Earth-System Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, 26 Songdomirae-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, 21990, Republic of Korea
4Polar Science, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 34113, Republic of Korea
5Agriculture Science and Technology Research Institute, Andong National University, Andong, Gyeongsangbuk, 36729, Republic of Korea
6Department of Ecology and Genetics, Oulu University, 90140, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-03


The bumble bee Bombus polaris (Curtis 1835) is known from the northernmost region of Greenland. But how it can survive there, where in terms of geographic origin it came from, and which species in addition to B. pyrrhopygus (Friese 1902) genetically it is most closely related to are insufficiently answered questions that have motivated us to carry out this study. On the basis of a molecular analysis of the cytochrome oxidase I gene of a B. (Alpinobombus) polaris from North Greenland (82° 48′ N; 42° 14′ W), we conclude that the female specimen we analysed was most closely related to the Canadian populations of B. polaris. Geographic proximity, occurrence of B. polaris on Ellesmere Island and wind direction are likely factors that have aided B. polaris to establish itself in northern and eastern Greenland. The presence of five haplotypes in the studied sequences from Greenland indicates a moderately high level of genetic diversity of B. polaris in Greenland, reflecting the successful adaptation of B. polaris populations. In the broader context of entomological life in the high Arctic, our results on B. polaris allow us to conclude that the survival of pollinating species in the high Arctic under the changing climate scenario depends not only on the weather but also on an individual’s opportunity to continue to locate suitable food sources, i.e. pollen and nectar in the case of B. polaris. This aspect, briefly touched upon in this study, is of relevance not just to B. polaris, but the Arctic entomofauna generally.

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Series: Polar biology
ISSN: 0722-4060
ISSN-E: 1432-2056
ISSN-L: 0722-4060
Volume: 44
Pages: 2209 - 2216
DOI: 10.1007/s00300-021-02952-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. The research received support from a grant to Professor Chuleui Jung via the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1A6A1A03024862).
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