Volume 69, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Molecular data on are very scarce, despite the fact that this genus includes all the species involved in the transmission of leishmaniasis in America. We examine the genetic relationships among eight morphologic groups within the genus and two species, using nine enzyme loci and the last 285 basepairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The structure of the genetic variation among the species analyzed indicated a closer genetic relationship among members of a morphologic group than between members of different groups. The lower levels of variation recorded among these groups compared with that between and suggest a subgeneric status for all of these groups, including . A maximum likelihood tree for the allozyme data and a neighbor-joining consensus tree for the mitochondrial DNA sequences showed a general agreement with morphologic groups, with only minor differences. , and formed separate monophyletic groups. could not be separated from and both species, and grouped in different clades according to the host species they are found on.


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  • Received : 13 Feb 2003
  • Accepted : 18 Jun 2003

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