New microsatellite markers for multi-scale genetic studies on Phlebotomus ariasi Tonnoir, vector of Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean area

Prudhomme J, Toty C, Kasap OE, Rahola N, Vergnes B, Maia C, Campino L, Antoniou M, Jimenez M, Molina R, Cannet A, Alten B, Sereno D, Bañuls AL

Acta Trop. 2015 Feb;142:79-85


PMID: 25447832

The population structure of Phlebotomus ariasi, a proven vector of Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean area, is still poorly understood. Previously, only two microsatellite loci had been developed to study the population genetics of this species. Herein we use these loci and determined fourteen novel microsatellite loci, useful for the characterization of P. ariasi populations. These loci were tested on three populations of P. ariasi, two from France and one from Portugal. In addition, the usefulness of these markers was also evaluated on seven other sandfly species. We show, that for P. ariasi, 15 of the 16 loci selected were polymorphic, with a mean of 4.25 alleles and an observed heterozygosity of 0.299. Within the P. ariasi population of France, 11 loci were polymorphic, with an average of 2.44 alleles and an observed heterozygosity of 0.2177. The fixation index was moderate among the French populations but high between French and Portuguese populations. In addition, eight loci were also found to be amplifiable in six other Phlebotomus species. These results demonstrate the usefulness of this new set of microsatellite loci for population structure and molecular ecology studies of P. ariasi at various spatial scales, but also of other sandfly species.