A Dynamic Global Invader: A Genetic Analysis of Aedes albopictus in Costa Rica
- Type of resource
- Date created
- June 17, 2018
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Honors theses written by undergraduates in the Stanford University Department of Biology, 2017-18., Honors theses written by undergraduates in the Stanford University Department of Biology, 2017-18.
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The mosquito Aedes albopictus, originating from southeast Asia, has expanded throughout the world during the 20th century, adapting to a variety of different regions and habitats and spreading diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Within these invasive populations little is known about the genetic diversity and population structure, particularly in Central America. Previous studies on the diversity of Ae. albopictus have been performed in countries such as the United States and Malaysia; however, few studies have examined population structure, genetic diversity, and phylogenetic relationship of Ae. albopictus populations in Central America, where dengue and other viruses are actively spreading. Understanding these important genetic markers and relationships will guide future research to allow for more direct targeting of vector control efforts. Ae. albopictus were captured using five different trapping methods in locations covering a wide range of land uses and temperatures across southern Costa Rica. We assessed population genetic structure by sequencing the mitochondrial Cytochrome C Oxidase 1 (CO1) gene. A phylogenetic tree constructed from our Costa Rican sequences and other world population sequences revealed a slight clustering of the Costa Rican population with populations from temperate regions. Examination of our sequences also revealed little population structuring, which indicates that the geographically separated populations are still intermixing despite the barriers that exist. Understanding the genetics of the Ae. albopictus within Costa Rica will be fundamental to future research to determine how the species will respond to the anthropogenic changes in temperature and land use in southern in Costa Rica. This in turn could aid in proactive mosquito control and public health management to reduce the incidence of the mosquito-borne viral infections.
- Preferred Citation
- O'Marr, Jamieson and Mordecai, Erin and Daily, Gretchen. (2018). A Dynamic Global Invader: A Genetic Analysis of Aedes albopictus in Costa Rica. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: https://purl.stanford.edu/fp205vq8571
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