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Mitochondrial and ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) diversity of the African malaria vector Anopheles funestus

Authors

  • O. MUKABAYIRE,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box 369, 317 Galvin Life Sciences Building, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA, ,
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  • D. BOCCOLINI,

    1. Laboratorio di Parassitologia, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Roma, Italy,,
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  • L. LOCHOUARN,

    1. Institut Francais de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération (ORSTOM), Laboratoire de Zoologie Médicale de l′Institut Pasteur, BP 1386, Dakar, Sénégal
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  • D. FONTENILLE,

    1. Institut Francais de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération (ORSTOM), Laboratoire de Zoologie Médicale de l′Institut Pasteur, BP 1386, Dakar, Sénégal
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  • N. J. BESANSKY

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box 369, 317 Galvin Life Sciences Building, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA, ,
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N. J. Besansky Fax: +01-219-6317413; E-mail: nora.j.besansky.1@nd.edu

Abstract

The pattern of sequence variation in the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene (cyt-b) and ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) was examined in Anopheles funestus from Senegal and Burkina Faso in West Africa and Kenya in East Africa. From both West African countries, samples included individuals hypothesized to represent reproductively isolated taxa based upon different karyotypes and behaviours. Analysis of the cyt-b data revealed high haplotypic diversity (86%) and an average pairwise difference per site of 0.42%. Sequence variation was not partitioned by geographical origin or karyotype class. The most common haplotype was sampled across Africa (≈ 6000 km). Analysis of the ITS2 data revealed one of the longest spacers yet found in anophelines (≈ 704 bp). In common with other anopheline ITS2 sequences, this one had microsatellites and frequent runs of individual nucleotides. Also in common with data from other anopheline ITS2 studies, the An. funestus sequences were almost monomorphic, with only two rare polymorphisms detected. The results from both markers are congruent and do not support the hypothesis of reproductively isolated chromosomal taxa within An. funestus. Whether the lack of support by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences is a result of the recent origin of the presumptive taxa, or of the absence of barriers to gene flow, remains to be elucidated, using more rapidly evolving markers such as microsatellites.

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