Evidence for subdivision within the M molecular form of Anopheles gambiae

M. A. Slotman, F. Tripet, A. J. Cornel, C. R. Meneses, Yoosook Lee, L. J. Reimer, T. C. Thiemann, E. Fondjo, A. Fofana, S. F. Traoré, Gregory C Lanzaro

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54 Scopus citations


The principal vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, Anopheles gambiae is subdivided into two molecular forms M and S. Additionally, several chromosomal forms, characterized by the presence of various inversion polymorphisms, have been described. The molecular forms M and S each contain several chromosomal forms, including the Savanna, Mopti and Forest forms. The M and S molecular forms are now considered to be the reproductive units within A. gambiae and it has recently been argued that a low recombination rate in the centromeric region of the X chromosome has facilitated isolation between these forms. The status of the chromosomal forms remains unclear however. Therefore, we studied genetic differentiation between Savanna S, Forest S, Forest M and Mopti M populations using microsatellites. Genetic differentiation between Savanna S and Forest S populations is very low (FST = 0.0053 ± 0.0049), even across large distances. In comparison, the Mopti M and Forest M populations show a relatively high degree of genetic differentiation (FST = 0.0406 ± 0.0054) indicating that the M molecular form may not be a single entity, but could be subdivided into at least two distinct chromosomal forms. Previously it was proposed that inversions have played a role in the origin of species within the A. gambiae complex. We argue that a possible subdivision within the M molecular form could be understood through this process, with the acquisition of inversions leading to the expansion of the M molecular form into new habitat, dividing it into two distinct chromosomal forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-649
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Chromosomal form
  • Incipient speciation
  • Inversions
  • Isolation
  • Molecular form

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry


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