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Insects. 2018 Jul 24;9(3). pii: E89. doi: 10.3390/insects9030089.

Alterations and Interchange of Morphometric Characters in Different Life Cycle Stages with Reference to Genomic Variations of Anopheles subpictus (Diptera; Culicidae) Sibling Species Complex in Sri Lanka.

Author information

1
Center for Biotechnology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda 10250, Sri Lanka. pamodajayatunga@gmail.com.
2
Center for Biotechnology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda 10250, Sri Lanka. iresha@sci.sjp.ac.lk.
3
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Colombo 03 00100, Sri Lanka. vishvanathc@hotmail.com.
4
Center for Biotechnology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda 10250, Sri Lanka. nissanka@sci.sjp.ac.lk.

Abstract

The species complex of the mosquito Anopheles subpictus is designated by the sibling species A⁻D, depending on morphological characters of life cycle stages and variations in polytene chromosomes. However, morphological aberrations in the life cycle stages make the identification of sibling species uncertain and imprecise. The objective of the present study is to determine the suitability of morphological variations of sibling species and their genomic variations to identify the sibling species status of an An. subpictus population in Sri Lanka. Life cycle stages of larvae, pupal exuviae, and adults were examined for previously reported distinctive morphological features. Five nuclear and mitochondrial genome regions, including the Internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region, D3 region, white gene, cytochrome c oxidase I (COI), and Cytochrome b (Cyt-b), were sequenced and analyzed for variations. The eggs changed their distinct sibling morphological characters during metamorphosis (89.33%). The larvae, pupal exuviae, and adult stages showed deviation from their sibling characters by 26.10%, 19.71%, and 15.87%, respectively. However, all the species from the analysis shared two distinct sequence types for all regions, regardless of the morphological variations. In conclusion, the An. subpictus sibling species complex in Sri Lanka is not identifiable using morphological characters due to variations, and the genomic variations are independent from the morphological variations.

KEYWORDS:

Anopheles subpictus; Sri Lanka; molecular markers; morphological variations; sibling species

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