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Unraveling the process of cryptic speciation of Triatoma sordida (Stål, 1859) (Hemiptera, Triatominae) through integrative taxonomy

Grant number: 19/17581-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology
Principal Investigator:Kaio Cesar Chaboli Alevi
Grantee:Daniel Cesaretto Cristal
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil


Triatoma sordida is a species of triatomine endemic to South America, distributed in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Chromosomal, izoensimmatic, morphometric and molecular polymorphisms (with the mitochondrial COI gene) led to the hypothesis that the phenomenon of cryptic speciation (genetically distinct species, but morphologically identical) is present in this species. Cytogenetic studies (Bandamento C and FISH) demonstrated the presence of three distinct cytotypes for T. sordida, namely, cytotype I (T. sordida sensu stricto), cytotype II (T. sordida Argentina) and cytotype III (T. sordida La Paz ), which possibly represents one or more distinct taxon (s). Taking into account that the integrative taxonomy is an important tool for the characterization of species, since it aggregates different analyzes to assess the specific status of a taxon, the present project aims to assess the specific status of the different cytotypes of T. sordida, for through morphological (by scanning microscopy), molecular (with the nuclear gene ITS-1 and mitochondrial Cyt B), experimental crosses (focusing on pre and / or post-zygotic reproductive barriers) and cytogenetic (assessing the degree of compatibility between homeologous chromosomes of hybrids), with emphasis on the phenomenon of cryptic speciation.