Towards a phylogenetic approach to the composition of species complexes in the North and Central American Triatoma, vectors of Chagas disease

Nicholas M. de la Rúa, Dulce M. Bustamante, Marianela Menes, Lori Stevens, Carlota Monroy, C. William Kilpatrick, Donna Rizzo, Stephen A. Klotz, Justin Schmidt, Heather J. Axen, Patricia L. Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Phylogenetic relationships of insect vectors of parasitic diseases are important for understanding the evolution of epidemiologically relevant traits, and may be useful in vector control. The sub-family Triatominae (Hemiptera:Reduviidae) includes ~140 extant species arranged in five tribes comprised of 15 genera. The genus Triatoma is the most species-rich and contains important vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. Triatoma species were grouped into complexes originally by morphology and more recently with the addition of information from molecular phylogenetics (the four-complex hypothesis); however, without a strict adherence to monophyly. To date, the validity of proposed species complexes has not been tested by statistical tests of topology. The goal of this study was to clarify the systematics of 19 Triatoma species from North and Central America. We inferred their evolutionary relatedness using two independent data sets: the complete nuclear internal transcribed spacer-2 ribosomal DNA (ITS-2 rDNA) and head morphometrics. In addition, we used the Shimodaira-Hasegawa statistical test of topology to assess the fit of the data to a set of competing systematic hypotheses (topologies). An unconstrained topology inferred from the ITS-2 data was compared to topologies constrained based on the four-complex hypothesis or one inferred from our morphometry results. The unconstrained topology represents a statistically significant better fit of the molecular data than either the four-complex or the morphometric topology. We propose an update to the composition of species complexes in the North and Central American Triatoma, based on a phylogeny inferred from ITS-2 as a first step towards updating the phylogeny of the complexes based on monophyly and statistical tests of topologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Chagas disease
  • ITS-2
  • Morphometry
  • Species complexes
  • Systematics
  • Triatominae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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    de la Rúa, N. M., Bustamante, D. M., Menes, M., Stevens, L., Monroy, C., Kilpatrick, C. W., Rizzo, D., Klotz, S. A., Schmidt, J., Axen, H. J., & Dorn, P. L. (2014). Towards a phylogenetic approach to the composition of species complexes in the North and Central American Triatoma, vectors of Chagas disease. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 24, 157-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2014.03.019