Submitted to: Journal of Heredity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Anopheles nuneztovari is a mosquito species that has been shown to transmit malaria in South America. However, it is possible that this species actually comprises several species, or a species complex. Morphologically similar species are common in insects, and most morpholo- gically described species of Anopheles mosquitoes are complexes of species. .Species complexes are of great practical interest for two reasons: 1) some species in the complex might not be important as pests and control efforts directed at the complex as a whole would therefore be partly wasted; and 2) control strategies directed against one species of the complex might not affect other species of the complex. Scientists at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, and the United States Department of Agricultural, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL studied the population of this species and other species of fmosquitoes. Scientists can use this information to determine how many species there are, which ones transmit malaria, and how they can be con- rolled.
Technical Abstract: Restriction enzymes were used to examine the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 264 individual Anopheles nuneztovari mosquitoes from 12 collection sites in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Suriname and Venezuela. Earlier workers demonstrated behavioral, cytological, and allozyme differences between Venezuelan/Colombian and Amazonian populations of A. nuneztovari. The haplotypes representing cytotype A individuals (Amazonian) were located in four distinctive mtDNA lineages: two in Manaus, a third in Suriname, and a fourth which was mostly eastern Brazil. The haplotypes representing cytotype B and C individuals in Venezuela and Colombia clustered together in a separate mtDNA lineage. There were no shared haplotypes between the Amazonian and Venezuelan samples. We hypothesize that the lack of haplotype overlap between the two regions suggests present-day isolation. The clustering of haplotypes representing cytotypes B and C indicates some exchange of maternal lineages across the Venezuelan Andes.