Phylogeography of the Lutzomyia gomezi (Diptera: Phlebotominae) on the Panama Isthmus

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Background: Lutzomyia gomezi (Nitzulescu, 1931) is one of the main Leishmania (Vianna) panamensis vectors in Panama, and despite its medical significance, there are no population genetic studies regarding this species. In this study, we used the sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b/start of NADH1 and the nuclear elongation gene -1 in order to analyze genetic variation and phylogeographic structure of the Lu. gomezi populations. Methods. A total of 86 Lu. gomezi individuals were captured in 38 locations where cutaneous leishmaniasis occurred. DNA was extracted with phenol/chloroform methods and amplification of genes was performed using PCR primers for mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Results: We found a total of 37 and 26 haplotypes of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, high haplotype diversity (h) for all three populations were detected with both molecular markers. Nucleotide diversity (π) was estimated to be high for all three populations with the mitochondrial marker, which was opposite to the estimate with the nuclear marker. In the AMOVA Φst recorded moderate (mitochondrial) and small (nuclear) population structure with statistical significance among populations. The analysis of the fixation index (Fst) used to measure the differentiation of populations showed that with the exception of the population located in the region of Bocas del Toro, the other populations presented with minor genetic differentiation. The median-Joining network of the mitochondrial marker reveled three clusters and recorded four haplotypes exclusively of localities sampled from Western Panama, demonstrating strong divergence. We found demographic population expansion with Fús Fs neutrality test. In the analysis mismatch distribution was observed as a bimodal curve. Conclusion: Lu. gomezi is a species with higher genetic pool or variability and mild population structure, due to possible capacity migration and local adaptation to environmental changes or colonization potential. Thus, knowledge of the genetic population and evolutionary history is useful to understand the implications of different population genetic structures for cutaneous leishmaniasis epidemiology. © 2014 Valderrama et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Valderrama, A., Tavares, M. G., & Filho, J. D. A. (2014). Phylogeography of the Lutzomyia gomezi (Diptera: Phlebotominae) on the Panama Isthmus. Parasites and Vectors, 7(1).

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