A phylogenetic study of the Anopheles punctulatus group of malaria vectors comparing rDNA sequence alignments derived from the mitochondrial and nuclear small ribosomal subunits.

Research paper by N W NW Beebe, R D RD Cooper, D A DA Morrison, J T JT Ellis

Indexed on: 03 Jan '01Published on: 03 Jan '01Published in: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution


A phylogenetic study of the members of the Anopheles punctulatus group was performed using structural and similarity-based DNA sequence alignments of the small ribosomal subunit (SSU) from both the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes. The mitochondrial SSU gene (12S, approximately 650 bp) proved to be highly restricted by its secondary structure and displayed little informative sequence variation. Consequently, it was considered unsuitable for a phylogenetic study of these closely related mosquito species. A structural alignment of the nuclear ribosomal DNA SSU (18S, approximately 2000 bp) proved to be more informative than similarity-based alignments. Analyses showed the A. punctulatus group to be monophyletic with two major clades; a Farauti clade containing members displaying an all-black-scaled proboscis (A. farauti 1-3 and 5-7) and the Punctulatus clade containing members displaying extensive white scaling on the apical half of the proboscis (A. farauti 4, A. punctulatus, and An. sp. near punctulatus). Anopheles koliensis was positioned basal to the Farauti clade.