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Pleistocene genetic connectivity in a widespread, open-habitat-adapted mosquito in the Indo-Oriental region

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Abstract Aim 

The environmental effect of Pleistocene climatic change in the Indo-Oriental region has resulted in allopatric fragmentation and the generation of diversity in forest-associated species. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which Pleistocene climatic change has resulted in the fragmentation and speciation of an open-habitat-adapted mosquito, Anopheles vagus s.l., across its range. Location 

Anopheles vagus s.l. was sampled across the Indo-Oriental region. Methods 

We generated 116 mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 121 nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) DNA sequences from 18 populations. Relationships between mitochondrial haplotypes were reconstructed using minimum spanning networks, and population structure was examined using analyses of molecular variance. The population history, including lineage divergence times, population expansion and gene flow, was inferred usingbeastand the isolation with migration (IM) model. Results 

There was no evidence to support the presence of the endemic Philippines species, A. limosus; instead, Philippine populations were closely related to, and derived from, A. vagus on the eastern Southeast Asian mainland. The most distinct populations were those from Java and East Timor, which differed from all other populations by all individuals having a 4-bp insertion in the ITS2 sequence. The corresponding mitochondrial haplotypes had an estimated divergence time of 2.6 Ma [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9–3.6 Ma]. Haplotype networks and analysis of molecular variance for COI supported western (Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar) and eastern (Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines) population groupings. This grouping structure results from the divergence of an eastern and a western mitochondrial lineage, estimated to have occurred 0.37 Ma (95% CI 0.26–0.55 Ma). Subsequent migration from the east to the west (0.16 Ma) is inferred to have created an admixture zone in Myanmar and Thailand. Main conclusions 

With the possible exception of populations from Java and East Timor, A. vagus appears to be one widespread genetically diverse taxon across its extensive range. The abundance of grassland during long interglacial periods may have facilitated population connectivity and range expansion across the Oriental and western Australasian regions.

Keywords: Anopheles limosus; Anopheles vagus; Pleistocene; Pliocene; Southeast Asia; phylogeography

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Formerly of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM), Alabang, Muntinlupa City, 1781 Philippines 2: Department of Entomology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK 3: Medical Entomology Research Division, Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Yangon, Myanmar 4: Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand 5: National Center for Malaria Control, Parasitology & Entomology (NCMC), 372 Monivong Blvd (Corner St 322), Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia 6: National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology & Entomology (NIMPE), Luong The Vinh Street, BC 10.200 Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam 7: Environmental Health Institute, National Environmental Agency, 11, Biopolis Way, 138667 Singapore

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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