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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 3 
Molecular phylogeny of the subfamily Triatominae derived from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences
Beatriz Alicia Garcia
Pages: 149 - 154
Number of pages: 6
Trends in Entomology
Volume 3 

Copyright © 2003 Research Trends. All rights reserved


The subfamily Triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) comprises hematophagous insects, most of which are actual or potential vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan agent of Chagas’ disease.  Mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA sequences have been used in the last years to clarify the triatomine relationships.  It has been proposed a monophyletic origin for the subfamily Triatominae from the analysis of the 16S mtDNA gene, however there is no unequivocal proof for Triatominae monophyly at present.  Although many questions still remain to be resolved on this important group of insects, the knowledge of phylogenetic relationships within Triatominae has advanced principally for the two major tribes, Triatomine and Rhodniini.  In this regard, the paraphyletic nature of the genus Rhodnius as well as non-monophyly of the genus Triatoma have been demonstrated.  In general, phylogenetic analysis of several gene fragments in different species of triatomines produced results that are consistent with the accepted taxonomy of the subfamily.  However, the placement of T. circummaculata, a member of a different complex of the genus Triatoma based on morphology, into the middle of the infestans complex suggested that present systematics of this group does not reflect phylogenetic affinities.                                                                    

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