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Identification of adult females of the species Culex coronator and Culex usquatus (Diptera: Culicidae) by using the DNA barcode

Grant number: 12/02451-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Mauro Toledo Marrelli
Grantee:Laura Cristina Multini
Home Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The Complex Coronator within the family Culicidae is what has most epidemiological importance such that some members of this complex are responsible for transmitting some arboviruses as the St. Louis Encephalitis virus (VESL), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. The members of this complex are: Cx. coronator, Cx, Cx. usquatus, Cx. ousqua, Cx. usquatissimus and Cx. camposi. The species are morphologically distinguishable only by the appearance of the male genitalia, being females and immature forms indistinguishable. The Coronator complex mosquitoes are distributed in the Americas, but in Brazil are found only Cx. coronator and Cx. usquatus. DNA Barcode is a system that is based on mitochondrial gene COI sequences and has been very effective for species identification and separation of various animal groups, including mosquitoes. Thus, it is important that an investigation of the efficacy of DNA Barcode in the breakdown of these two sister species, considering that one of them (Cx. usquatus) has no epidemiological importance. (AU)

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