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The Demographic Histories of the M and S Molecular Forms of Anopheles gambiae s.s.

By Jacob E. Crawford and Brian P. Lazzaro


Anopheles gambiae is a primary vector of Plasmodium falciparum, a human malaria parasite that causes over a million deaths each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Population genetic tests have been employed to detect natural selection at suspected A. gambiae antimalaria genes, but these tests have generally been compromised by the lack of demographically correct null models. Here, we used a coalescent simulation approach within a maximum likelihood framework to fit population growth, bottleneck, and migration models to polymorphism data from Cameroonian A. gambiae. The best-fit models for both the “M” and the “S” molecular forms of A. gambiae included ancient population growth and a high rate of migration from an unsampled subpopulation. After correcting for differences in effective population size, our models suggest that the molecular forms expanded at different times and both expansions significantly predate the advent of agriculture. We show that correcting null models for demography increases the power to detect natural selection in A. gambiae

Topics: Letters
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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