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GENETIC RELATIONSHIPS AMONG SOME SPECIES GROUPS WITHIN THE GENUS LUTZOMYIA (DIPTERA: PSYCHODIDAE)

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  • 1 Centro de Ecología, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Caracas, Venezuela; Department of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Cannada

Molecular data on Lutzomyia 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 Lutzomyia genus and two Brumptomyia 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 Brumptomyia and Lutzomyia suggest a subgeneric status for all of these groups, including Psychodopygus. 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. Nyssomyia, Verrucarum and Micropygomyia formed separate monophyletic groups. Lutzomyia could not be separated from Psathyromyia, and both Migonei species, L. dubitans and L. migonei, grouped in different clades according to the host species they are found on.

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