• Anopheles gambiae;
  • pyrethroid resistance;
  • kdr;
  • Mali;
  • speciation


In Mali the Anopheles gambiae complex consists of An. arabiensis and Mopti, Savanna and Bamako chromosomal forms of An. gambiae s.s. Previous chromosomal data suggests a complete reproductive isolation among these forms. Sequence analysis of rDNA regions led to the characterization of two molecular forms of An. gambiae, named M-form and S-form, which in Mali correspond to Mopti and to Savanna/Bamako, respectively, while it has failed so far to show any molecular difference between Savanna and Bamako. The population structure of An. gambiae s.l. was analysed in three villages in the Bamako and Sikasso areas of Mali and the frequency of pyrethroid resistance of the knock-down resistance (kdr) type was calculated. The results show that the kdr allele is associated only with the Savanna form populations and absent in sympatric and synchronous populations of Bamako, Mopti and An. arabiensis. This is the first molecular indication of barriers to gene flow between the Bamako and Savanna chromosomal forms. Moreover, analyses of specimens collected in the Bamako area in 1987 show that the kdr allele was already present in the Savanna population at that time, and that the frequency of this allele has gradually increased since then.