Molecular Evolution and Phylogenomics of the Anopheles gambiae Complex
Mofolusho O. Falade
Cellular Parasitology Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Journal of Mosquito Research, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 9 doi: 10.5376/jmr.2013.03.0009
Received: 26 Mar., 2013 Accepted: 03 Apr., 2013 Published: 26 Apr., 2013
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Preferred citation for this article:
Otarigho and Falade, 2013, Molecular Evolution and Phylogenomics of the Anopheles gambiae Complex, Journal of Mosquito Research, Vol.3, No.9 65-70 (doi: 10.5376/jmr.2013.03.00009)
Malaria vectors of the Anopheles gambiae complex are made up six species of mosquitoes that are stable and are highly efficient vectors. This group comprises of major and minor vectors, some of which are responsible for transmission of the most deadly strain of malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The evolutionary history of this species group was inferred using publically available DNA sequence data. The retrieved sequences were aligned using CLUSTAL W; evolutionary history was inferred using Maximum Likelihood, Neighbor-Joining, and Minimum Evolution methods. Ancestral sequences were also inferred using the FASTML Server-based program for computing ancestral sequences. Based on morphology, ecology and behaviour, Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis (major vectors) were found to evolve from a common ancestor. All the members of this complex were all AT rich. A. gambiae and A. arabiensis had the highest AT composition, while A. merus was the least AT rich among the complex. Evolutionary divergence estimates show that these two major vectors are genetically similar. A. quadriannulatus (non vector) and A. melas (minor vector) were also found to evolve from the same ancestor. Overall, this study gives an understanding of the ancestral lineage of the A. gambiae complex, which will be essential for understanding the origins, evolution, classification and epidemiology of this important disease vector. This may have important implications for the control of malaria.
Anopheles gambiae complex; Vectorial capacity; Evolution; Phylogenetics; Cytochrome c oxidase (COI); Mitochoindria DNA sequence; Evolutionary history; Evolutionary divergence