Morphometric and Molecular Analyses of the Sand Fly Species Lutzomyia shannoni (Dyar 1929) (Diptera:Psychodidae:Phlebotiminae) Collected from Seven Different Geographical Areas in the Southeastern United States
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD F EDWARD HEBERT SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
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Morphometric and molecular analyses were used to elucidate the variation among the sand fly Lutzomyia shannoni collected from seven widely separated locations in the southeastern United States Baton Rouge, LA Fort Bragg, NC Fort Campbell, KY Fort Rucker, AL Ossabaw Island, GA Patuxent NWRR, MD and Suwannee NWR, FL. Lu. shannoni is a wide-ranging phlebotomine sand fly that has been implicated in the transmission of a number of parasitic and viral pathogens of medicalveterinary importance. In light of this, it is imperative to answer the question of whether or not significant variation exists among the purported biogeographical populations so as to make a determination on the possibility of a cryptic species complex. A balanced approach to answering this question was emphasized by using the two-prong method of morphological and molecular data. The morphometric analysis entailed using univariate and multivariate techniques on a sample size of 40 males and 40 females from each collection site with the exceptions, due to inadequate number of collected specimens, of Baton Rouge where morphometrics were not conducted for the specimens of either gender and of Suwannee NWR where morphometrics were not conducted on the male specimens. A total of 54 characters from the male specimens and 49 characters from the female specimens were measured by an inserted micrometer in the ocular eyepiece of a compound microscope. Results indicate that while there is a certain amount of variation, it is not sufficient to discriminate among the collection sites. Two molecular markers, the mitochondrial DNA CO I and the nuclear DNA ITS2, were PCR-amplified and the resulting sequences compared. For both markers, the small amount of variation observed in the sequences did not have a diagnostic distribution and were not informative in distinguishing the specimens based upon collection site.
- Medicine and Medical Research