• Anopheles gambiae;
  • insertion polymorphism;
  • molecular forms;
  • population genetics;
  • speciation;
  • transposable elements


The insertion polymorphism of five transposable element (TE) families was studied by Southern blots in several populations of the M and S molecular forms of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto from southern Cameroon. We showed that the mean TE insertion site number and the within-population insertion site polymorphism globally differed between the M and S molecular forms. The comparison of the TE insertion profiles of the populations revealed a significant differentiation between these two molecular forms (0.163 < ΦST < 0.371). We cloned several insertions of a non-LTR retrotransposon (Aara8) that were fixed in one form and absent in the other one. The only insertion that could be clearly located on a chromosome arm mapped to cytological division 6 of chromosome X, confirming the importance of this region in the ongoing speciation between the M and S molecular forms.