River-specific macrogenomic diversity in <i>Simulium guianense s</i>. <i>l</i>. (Diptera: Simuliidae), a complex of tropical American vectors associated with human onchocerciasis
by Peter H. Adler, Neusa Hamada, Jeane Marcelle Cavalcante do Nascimento, Maria Eugenia GrilletSimulium guianense Wise is a Latin American vector complex of black flies associated with transmission of the causal agent of human onchocerciasis (river blindness). An analysis of the chromosomal banding patterns of 607 larvae of S. guianense s. l. revealed a high level of variation involving 83 macrogenomic rearrangements across 25 populations in Brazil, French Guiana, and Venezuela. The 25 populations were assigned to 13 cytoforms (A1, A2, B1–B4, C, D, E1–E4, and F), some of which are probably valid species. Based on geographical proximity, a member of the B group of cytoforms probably represents the name-bearing type specimen of S. guianense and the primary vector in the last-remaining onchocerciasis foci in the Western Hemisphere. Cytoform B3 in Amapá State is implicated as an anthropophilic simuliid in an area currently and historically free of onchocerciasis. Distributions of cytoforms are associated with geography, elevation, and drainage basin, and are largely congruent with ecoregions. Despite extraordinarily large larval populations of S. guianense s. l. in big rivers and consequent production of female flies for dispersal, the cytoforms maintain their chromosomal distinction within individual rivers, suggesting a high degree of fidelity to the specialized breeding habitats—rocky shoals—of the natal rivers.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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