Microgeographical structure in the major Neotropical malaria vector Anopheles darlingi using microsatellites and SNP markers
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Background: In recent decades, throughout the Amazon Basin, landscape modification contributing to profound ecological change has proceeded at an unprecedented rate. Deforestation that accompanies human activities can significantly change aspects of anopheline biology, though this may be site-specific. Such local changes in anopheline biology could have a great impact on malaria transmission. The aim of this study was to investigate population genetics of the main malaria vector in Brazil, Anopheles darlingi, from a microgeographical perspective. Methods: Microsatellites and ddRADseq-derived single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to assess levels of population genetic structuring among mosquito populations from two ecologically distinctive agricultural settlements (~60 km apart) and a population from a distant (~700 km) urban setting in the western Amazon region of Brazil. Results: Significant microgeographical population differentiation was observed among Anopheles darlingi populations via both model- and non-model-based analysis only with the SNP dataset. Microsatellites detected moderate differentiation at the greatest distances, but were unable to differentiate populations from the two agricultural settlements. Both markers showed low polymorphism levels in the most human impacted sites. Conclusions: At a microgeographical scale, signatures of genetic heterogeneity and population divergence were evident in Anopheles darlingi, possibly related to local environmental anthropic modification. This divergence was observed only when using high coverage SNP markers.