Molecular systematics of the Philippine malaria vector Anopheles flavirostris

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Allozyme and molecular sequence data from the malaria vector Anopheles flavirostris (Ludlow) (Diptera: Culicidae) were analysed from 34 sites throughout the Philippines, including the type locality, to test the hypothesis that this taxon is a single panmictic species. A finer-scaled allozyme study, of mainly Luzon samples, revealed no fixed genetic differences in sympatric sites and only low levels of variation. We obtained data from partial sequences for the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) (483 bp), the third domain (D3) (330 bp) of the 28S ribosomal DNA subunit and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) of mitochondrial DNA (261 bp). No sequence variation was observed for ITS2, only a one base pair difference was observed between Philippine and Indonesian D3 sequences and An. flavirostris sequences were unique, confirming their diagnostic value for this taxon. Sixteen COI haplotypes were identified, giving 25 parsimony informative sites. Neighbour-Joining, Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of COI sequences for An. flavirostris and outgroup taxa revealed strong branch support for the monophyly of An. flavirostris, thus confirming that Philippine populations of this taxon comprise a single separate species within the Minimus Subgroup of the Funestus Group. Variation in the behaviour of An. flavirostris is likely to be intraspecific rather than interspecific in origin.

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