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BMC Evolutionary Biology

, 8:141

First Online: 12 May 2008Received: 26 November 2007Accepted: 12 May 2008


BackgroundThe phlebotomine sand flies Diptera:Psychodidae Lutzomyia Nyssomyia intermedia Lutz and Neiva 1912 and Lutzomyia Nyssomyia whitmani Antunes and Coutinho 1932 are two very closely related species and important vectors of American cutaneous leishmaniasis. Two single-locus studies have revealed evidence for introgression between the two species in both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. These findings have prompted the development of a multilocus approach to investigate in more detail the genetic exchanges between the two species.

ResultsWe analyzed ten nuclear loci using the -isolation with migration- model implemented in the IM program, finding evidence for introgression from L. intermedia towards L. whitmani in three loci. These results confirm that introgression is occurring between the two species and suggest variation in the effects of gene flow among the different regions of the genome.

ConclusionThe demonstration that these two vectors are not fully reproductively isolated might have important epidemiological consequences as these species could be exchanging genes controlling aspects of their vectorial capacity.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2148-8-141 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Camila J Mazzoni - Alejandra S Araki - Gabriel EM Ferreira - Renata VDM Azevedo - Guido Barbujani - Alexandre A Peixoto


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