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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1995 May-Jun;90(3):353-7.

Genetic variability and differentiation between populations of Rhodnius prolixus and R. pallescens, vectors of Chagas' disease in Colombia.

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  • 1Unidad de Bioquímica, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas, CIDEIM, Cali, Colombia.


Enzyme polymorphism in Rhodnius prolixus and R. pallescens (Hemiptera, Reduviidae), principal vectors of Chagas' disease in Colombia, was analyzed using starch gel electrophoresis. Three geographic locations were sampled in order to determine gene flow between populations and to characterize intra- and interspecific differences. Of 25 enzymes assayed 10 were successfully resolved and then used to score the genetic variation. The enzymes PEPD, GPI, PGM and ICD were useful to differentiate these species and PGD, PGM and MDH distinguished between sylvatic and domiciliary populations of R. prolixus. Both polymorphism and heterozygosity indicated greater genetic variability in sylvatic habitats (H = 0.021) compared to domiciliary habitats (H = 0.006) in both species. Gene flow between sylvatic and domiciliary populations in R. prolixus was found to be minimal. This fact and the genetic distance between them suggest a process of genetic isolation in the domiciliary population.

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