Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto is a principal vector of malaria through much of sub-Saharan Africa, where this disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in human populations. Accordingly, population sizes and gene flow in this species have received special attention, as these parameters are important in attempts to control malaria by impacting its mosquito vector. Past measures of genetic differentiation have sometimes yielded conflicting results, in some cases suggesting that gene flow is extensive over vast distances (6000 km) and is disrupted only by major geological disturbances and/or barriers. Using microsatellite DNA loci from populations in Mali, West Africa, we measured genetic differentiation over uniform habitats favorable to the species across distances ranging from 62 to 536 km. Gene flow was strongly correlated with distance (r2 = 0.77), with no major differences among chromosomes. We conclude that in this part of Africa, at least, genetic differentiation for microsatellite DNA loci is consistent with traditional models of isolation by distance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology