Population analysis using the nuclear white gene detects Pliocene/Pleistocene lineage divergence within Anopheles nuneztovari in South America

Authors

  • L. MIRABELLO,

    1. 1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York, U.S.A. and 2Griffin Laboratory, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Slingerlands, New York, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • and 1 J. E. CONN 1,2

    Corresponding author
    1. 1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York, U.S.A. and 2Griffin Laboratory, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Slingerlands, New York, U.S.A.
      Jan E. Conn, 5668 State Farm Road, Slingerlands, New York 12159, U.S.A. Tel.: + 1 518 869 4575; Fax: + 1 518 869 6487; E-mail: jconn@wadsworth.org
    Search for more papers by this author

Jan E. Conn, 5668 State Farm Road, Slingerlands, New York 12159, U.S.A. Tel.: + 1 518 869 4575; Fax: + 1 518 869 6487; E-mail: jconn@wadsworth.org

Abstract

AbstractAnopheles (Nyssorhynchus) nuneztovari Gabaldón (Diptera: Culicidae), a locally important malaria vector in some regions of South America, has been hypothesized to consist of at least two cryptic incipient species. We investigated its phylogeographic structure in several South American localities to determine the number of lineages and levels of divergence using the nuclear white gene, a marker that detected two recently diverged genotypes in the primary Neotropical malaria vector Anopheles darlingi Root. In An. nuneztovari, five distinct lineages (1–5) were elucidated: (1) populations from northeastern and central Amazonia; (2) populations from Venezuela east and west of the Andes; (3) populations from Colombia and Venezuela west of the Andes; (4) southeastern and western Amazonian Brazil populations, and (5) southeastern and western Amazonian Brazil and Bolivian populations. There was a large amount of genetic differentiation among these lineages. The deepest and earliest divergence was found between lineage 3 and lineages 1, 2 and 4, which probably accounts for the detection of lineage 3 in some earlier studies. The multiple lineages within Amazonia are partially congruent with previous mtDNA and ITS2 data, but were undetected in many earlier studies, probably because of their recent (Pleistocene) divergence and the differential mutation rates of the markers. The estimates for the five lineages, interpreted as recently evolved or incipient species, date to the Pleistocene and Pliocene. We hypothesize that the diversification in An. nuneztovari is the result of an interaction between the Miocene/Pliocene marine incursion and Pleistocene climatic changes leading to refugial isolation. The identification of cryptic lineages in An. nuneztovari could have a significant impact on local vector control measures.

Ancillary