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1 May 2004 Ribosomal DNA ITS2 Sequences Differentiate Six Species in the Anopheles crucians Complex (Diptera: Culicidae)
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Anopheles crucians Wiedemann (sensu lato) was investigated for the presence of cryptic species using rDNA ITS2 sequences. This complex of species presently contains the named species An. crucians, An. bradleyi King, and An. georgianus King. Adult female mosquitoes were collected at 28 sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana, resulting in 245 progeny broods. Species were identified using preliminary morphological characters, and the internal transcribed spacer two (ITS2) was amplified from all broods. The result was five distinct sizes of amplification product, and based on morphological characters, one of the size classes was suspected to consist of two species. All six putative species were then sequenced: five directly, and the sixth, because of extreme intragenomic (each individual with many variants) size variability, cloned. The ITS2 sequences were markedly distinct for all six species. Species designations and ITS2 sequence lengths (base pairs in parentheses) were A (461), B (1,000 ), C (204), D (293), E (195), and An. bradleyi (208). Species B showed both large intraspecific and intragenomic sequence variability and is distinguished by having the longest ITS2 found so far in an Anopheles. Based on these data, we found that all species could be identified with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a mixture of four primers in a single reaction. Members of this complex were often found in sympatry, with the adults of five species collected at a single site in central Florida.

Richard C. Wilkerson, John F. Reinert, and Cong Li "Ribosomal DNA ITS2 Sequences Differentiate Six Species in the Anopheles crucians Complex (Diptera: Culicidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 41(3), 392-401, (1 May 2004).
Received: 27 February 2003; Accepted: 1 November 2003; Published: 1 May 2004

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