Analysis of the genetic structure of allopatric populations of Lutzomyia umbratilis using the period clock gene

Acta Trop. 2016 Feb;154:149-54. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.11.014. Epub 2015 Dec 2.


In South America, Lutzomyia umbratilis is the main vector of Leishmania guyanensis, one of the species involved in the transmission of American tegumentary leishmaniasis. In Brazil, L. umbratilis has been recorded in the Amazon region, and an isolated population has been identified in the state of Pernambuco, Northeastern region. This study assessed the phylogeographic structure of three allopatric Brazilian populations of L. umbratilis. Samples of L. umbratilis were collected from Rio Preto da Eva (north of the Amazon River, Amazonas), from Manacapuru (south of the Amazon River), and from the isolated population in Recife, Pernambuco state. These samples were processed to obtain sequences of the period gene. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of two distinct monophyletic clades: one clade comprised of the Recife and Rio Preto da Eva samples, and one clade comprised of the Manacapuru samples. Comparing the Manacapuru population with the Recife and Rio Preto da Eva populations revealed high indices of interpopulational divergence. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that geographical distance and environmental differences have not modified the ancestral relationship shared by the Recife and Rio Preto da Eva populations. Genetic similarities suggest that, in evolutionary terms, these populations are more closely related to each other than to the Manacapuru population. These results confirm the existence of an L. umbratilis species complex composed of at least two incipient species.

Keywords: Genetic structure; Lutzomyia umbratilis; Period gene; Species complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Genetic Structures
  • Genetic Variation
  • Insect Vectors / genetics*
  • Leishmania guyanensis
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / transmission
  • Period Circadian Proteins / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Phylogeography
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Psychodidae / genetics*
  • South America


  • Period Circadian Proteins