Genetic diversity in peridomiciliary populations of Triatoma mexicana (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) in central Mexico

Parasitol Res. 2022 Aug 5. doi: 10.1007/s00436-022-07608-2. Online ahead of print.


Triatoma mexicana is an important vector of Trypanosoma cruzi-the etiological agent of Chagas disease. This triatomine species occurs in central Mexico, but little is known about its genetic variability. Using Cyt-b gene as a genetic marker, in this study, we determined the population genetic structure of T. mexicana collected from the States of Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and Queretaro where populations are largely peridomiciliary. A Bayesian approach was performed for the design of phylogenies, median-joining networks, and clustering among populations of T. mexicana. Our results show that the Hidalgo population was the most distinct, with the highest genetic and haplotypic variation (Hd = 0.963, π = 0.06129, and ɵ = 0.05469). Moderate gene flow (Nm) was determined among populations of Hidalgo and Queretaro. Populations from the three states showed differentiation (FST) values ranging from 0.22 to 0.3, suggesting an important genetic differentiation. The phylogenetic analysis showed the presence of five well-defined groups, as well as the haplotype network, where 24 haplotypes were observed forming five haplogroups with high mutational steps among them: 68 (Hgo-W2), 26 (Qto), 59 (Hgo-M), 44 (Hgo-W1), and 46 (Gto). Genetic isolation was apparently inferred in the Guanajuato population; however, the Mantel test did not show correlation between genetic (FST) and geographic (km) distances (p = 0.05). The STRUCTURE analyses showed seven genetic clusters and it was observed that a single cluster predominates in each sampled location. However, genetic admixture was detected in four localities. Our results show evidence that there are multiple species within the collected sampling area.

Keywords: Biogeography; Chagas vectors; Genetic study; Kissing bugs; Phylogeny.