A cryptic subgroup of Anopheles gambiae is highly susceptible to human malaria parasites.
ABSTRACT Population subgroups of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae have not been comprehensively characterized owing to the lack of unbiased sampling methods. In the arid savanna zone of West Africa, where potential oviposition sites are scarce, widespread collection from larval pools in the peridomestic human habitat yielded a comprehensive genetic survey of local A. gambiae population subgroups, independent of adult resting behavior and ecological preference. A previously unknown subgroup of exophilic A. gambiae is sympatric with the known endophilic A. gambiae in this region. The exophilic subgroup is abundant, lacks differentiation into M and S molecular forms, and is highly susceptible to infection with wild Plasmodium falciparum. These findings might have implications for the epidemiology of malaria transmission and control.
Article: Comparative analyses reveal discrepancies among results of commonly used methods for Anopheles gambiaemolecular form identification.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Anopheles gambiae M and S molecular forms, the major malaria vectors in the Afro-tropical region, are ongoing a process of ecological diversification and adaptive lineage splitting, which is affecting malaria transmission and vector control strategies in West Africa. These two incipient species are defined on the basis of single nucleotide differences in the IGS and ITS regions of multicopy rDNA located on the X-chromosome. A number of PCR and PCR-RFLP approaches based on form-specific SNPs in the IGS region are used for M and S identification. Moreover, a PCR-method to detect the M-specific insertion of a short interspersed transposable element (SINE200) has recently been introduced as an alternative identification approach. However, a large-scale comparative analysis of four widely used PCR or PCR-RFLP genotyping methods for M and S identification was never carried out to evaluate whether they could be used interchangeably, as commonly assumed. The genotyping of more than 400 A. gambiae specimens from nine African countries, and the sequencing of the IGS-amplicon of 115 of them, highlighted discrepancies among results obtained by the different approaches due to different kinds of biases, which may result in an overestimation of MS putative hybrids, as follows: i) incorrect match of M and S specific primers used in the allele specific-PCR approach; ii) presence of polymorphisms in the recognition sequence of restriction enzymes used in the PCR-RFLP approaches; iii) incomplete cleavage during the restriction reactions; iv) presence of different copy numbers of M and S-specific IGS-arrays in single individuals in areas of secondary contact between the two forms. The results reveal that the PCR and PCR-RFLP approaches most commonly utilized to identify A. gambiae M and S forms are not fully interchangeable as usually assumed, and highlight limits of the actual definition of the two molecular forms, which might not fully correspond to the two A. gambiae incipient species in their entire geographical range. These limits are discussed and operational suggestions on the choice of the most convenient method for large-scale M- and S-form identification are provided, also taking into consideration technical aspects related to the epidemiological characteristics of different study areas.Malaria Journal 08/2011; 10:215. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: Taxonomy or biological systematics is the basic scientific discipline of biology, postulating hypotheses of identity and relationships, on which all other natural sciences dealing with organisms relies. However, the scientific contributions of taxonomists have been largely neglected when using species names in scientific publications by not citing the authority on which they are based. Consequences of this neglect is reduced recognition of the importance of taxonomy, which in turn results in diminished funding, lower interest from journals in publishing taxonomic research, and a reduced number of young scientists entering the field. This has lead to the so-called taxonomic impediment at a time when biodiversity studies are of critical importance.Here we emphasize a practical and obvious solution to this dilemma. We propose that whenever a species name is used, the author(s) of the species hypothesis be included and the original literature source cited, including taxonomic revisions and identification literature - nothing more than what is done for every other hypothesis or assumption included in a scientific publication. In addition, we postulate that journals primarily publishing taxonomic studies should be indexed in ISISM. The proposal outlined above would make visible the true contribution of taxonomists within the scientific community, and would provide a more accurate assessment for funding agencies impact and importance of taxonomy, and help in the recruitment of young scientists into the field, thus helping to alleviate the taxonomic impediment. In addition, it would also make much of the biological literature more robust by reducing or alleviating taxonomic uncertainty.Frontiers in Zoology 01/2011; 8(1):25. · 4.46 Impact Factor