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Changes in Genetic Diversity from Field to Laboratory During Colonization of Anopheles darlingi Root (Diptera: Culicidae)

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  • Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany (State University of New York), Albany, New York; Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California; Instituto de Medicina Tropical “Alexander von Humboldt,” Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Departamento de Ciencias Celulares y Moleculares, Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru

The process of colonizing any arthropod species, including vector mosquitoes, necessarily involves adaptation to laboratory conditions. The adaptation and evolution of colonized mosquito populations needs consideration when such colonies are used as representative models for pathogen transmission dynamics. A recently established colony of Anopheles darlingi, the primary malaria vector in Amazonian South America, was tested for genetic diversity and bottleneck after 21 generations, using microsatellites. As expected, laboratory An. darlingi had fewer private and rare alleles (frequency < 0.05), decreased observed heterozygosity, and more common alleles (frequency > 0.50), but no significant evidence of a bottleneck, decrease in total alleles, or increase in inbreeding compared with field specimens (founder population). Low-moderate differentiation between field and laboratory populations was detected. With these findings, and the documented inherent differences between laboratory and field populations, results of pathogen transmission studies using this An. darlingi colony need to be interpreted cautiously.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to William Lainhart, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Griffin Laboratory, 5668 State Farm Road, Building 1, Room 101, Slingerlands, NY 12159. E-mail: wlainhart@albany.edu

Financial support: This work was supported by the International Centers for Excellence in Malaria Research grant U19AI089681 to Joseph M. Vinetz and by NIH grant AI110112 to Jan E. Conn. The Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease training fellowship grant T32AI05532901 provided partial support for William Lainhart.

Authors' addresses: William Lainhart and Jan E. Conn, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany (State University of New York), NY, and Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, E-mails: wlainhart@albany.edu and jan.conn@health.ny.gov. Sara A. Bickersmith, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, E-mail: sara.bickersmith@health.ny.gov. Marta Moreno, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, E-mail: mmorenoleirana@ucsd.edu. Carlos Tong Rios, Instituto de Medicina Tropical “Alexander von Humboldt,” and Departamento de Ciencias Celulares y Moleculares, Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: ctong32@gmail.com. Joseph M. Vinetz, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, and Instituto de Medicina Tropical “Alexander von Humboldt,” and Departamento de Ciencias Celulares y Moleculares, Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: jvinetz@ucsd.edu.

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