Population genetic structure and demographic history of the black fly vector,Simulium nodosumin Thailand

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Abstract

An understanding of the genetic structure and diversity of vector species is crucial for effective control and management. In this study, mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to examine the genetic structure, diversity and demographic history of a black fly vector, Simulium nodosum Puri (Diptera: Simuliidae), in Thailand. A total of 145 sequences were obtained from 10 sampling locations collected across geographical ranges in the country. Low genetic diversity was found in populations of S. nodosum that could be explained by the recent population history of this species. Demographic history analysis revealed a signature of demographic expansion dating back to only 2600–5200 years ago. Recent population expansion in S. nodosum possibly followed an increase in agriculture that enabled its hosts', humans and domestic animals, densities to increase. Alternatively, the Thai populations could be a derivative of an older expansion event in the more northern populations. Mitochondrial DNA genealogy revealed no genetically divergent lineages, which agrees with the previous cytogenetic study. Genetic structure analyses found that only 27% of the pairwise comparisons were significantly different. The most likely explanation for the pattern of genetic structuring is the effect of genetic drift because of recent colonization.

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