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Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2006) 20, 413–424

Identifying Canadian mosquito species through


DNA barcodes
A . C Y W I N S K A 1 , F. F . H U N T E R 1 and P. D . N . H E B E R T 2
1
Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada and 2Department of Integrative Biology,
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Abstract. A short fragment of mt DNA from the cytochrome c oxidase 1 (CO1) region
was used to provide the first CO1 barcodes for 37 species of Canadian mosquitoes
(Diptera: Culicidae) from the provinces Ontario and New Brunswick. Sequence varia-
tion was analysed in a 617-bp fragment from the 5′ end of the CO1 region. Sequences
of each mosquito species formed barcode clusters with tight cohesion that were usually
clearly distinct from those of allied species. CO1 sequence divergences were, on aver-
age, nearly 20 times higher for congeneric species than for members of a species; diver-
gences between congeneric species averaged 10.4% (range 0.2–17.2%), whereas those
for conspecific individuals averaged 0.5% (range 0.0–3.9%).
Key words. Barcode of life, CO1–5′ region, evolution, mitochondrial DNA, molecular
taxonomy, mosquitoes, sequence divergence.

Introduction (WNv) in North America, mosquito identification and assess-


ment of vector status has gained renewed significance on this
The increasing loss of biodiversity globally has led to numerous continent. Successful longterm control of WNv will be aided by
proposals to intensify efforts to produce a census of all biologi- information on the epidemiological role of mosquitoes and the
cal diversity and to modernize taxonomy (Bisby et al., 2002; transmission biology of the virus.
Godfray, 2002; Besansky et al., 2003; Lipscomb et al., 2003; Although biting insects have been studied more extensively
Mallet & Willmott, 2003; Seberg et al., 2003; Tautz et al., 2003). than most other animal groups, our taxonomic knowledge of
Traditional morphology-based taxonomic procedures are time- mosquitoes is far from complete. Since Edwards (1932) out-
consuming and not always sufficient for identification to the lined the modern system of mosquito classification, the number
species level, and therefore a multidisciplinary approach to tax- of described mosquito species has more than doubled from 1400
onomy that includes morphological, molecular and distribu- to almost 3200 (Zavortink, 1990; Harbach & Kitching, 1998)
tional data is essential (Krzywinski & Besansky, 2003). and new species are still being identified.
Hebert et al. (2003a, b) have shown that the analysis of short, Several genetic approaches have been applied to the identifica-
standardized genomic regions (DNA barcodes) can discriminate tion of mosquito species, including protein electrophoresis (Green
morphologically recognized animal species. In particular, they et al., 1992; Foley et al., 1995; Sukowati et al., 1999; Van Bortel
suggest that the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase sub- et al., 1999), hybridization assays (Beebe et al., 1996; Crampton &
unit 1 (CO1) can serve as a uniform target gene for a bioidenti- Hill, 1997; Cooper et al., 2002) and polymerase chain reaction
fication system. (PCR)-based sequence analysis. The latter has the advantage of
The ability of DNA barcodes to identify species reliably, requiring minute amounts of material for analysis. Methods based
quickly and cost-effectively has particular importance in medi- on PCR, such as satellite DNA (Krzywinski et al., 2005), restric-
cal entomology, where molecular approaches to species diag- tion fragment length analysis, single-strand conformation shifts,
noses are often of great benefit in the identification of all life or heteroduplex analysis, have been applied to detect diagnostic
stages, from eggs to adults. As Besansky et al. (2003) stated: differences among PCR products in mosquito species (Moriais &
‘Nowhere is the gap in taxonomic knowledge more urgent than Severson, 2003; Santomalazza et al., 2004; Weeto et al., 2004;
for medically important pathogens and their invertebrate vec- Garros et al., 2005; Goswami et al., 2005). Most PCR assays have
tors’. For example, since the recent arrival of West Nile virus examined sequence diversity in specific nuclear loci (Scott et al.,

Correspondence: Alina Cywinska, Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1, Canada. Tel.: + 1 905
688 5550 (ext. 3879); Fax: + 1 905 688 1855; E-mail: alcywin@hotmail.com

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society 413
414 A. Cywinska et al.

Fig. 1. Map of study area showing sampling sites within locations of the Health Units of the Ontario Ministry of Health and the First Nations territo-
ries. AL, Algoma; BR, Brant; GB, Bruce Grey Owen Sound; DR, Durham; EG, Elgin–St. Thomas; EO, Eastern Ontario; HK, Haliburton–Kawartha–
Pine Ridge; HL, Halton; HM, Hamilton Wentworth; HN, Haldimand–Norfolk; HP, Hastings–Prince Edward; HR, Huron; CK, Kent–Chatham; KG,
Kingston–Frontenac–Lennox–Addington; LM, Lambton; LG, Leeds–Grenville–Lanark; MI, Manitouli Island; ML, Middlesex–London; MP,
Muskoka–Parry Sound; NB, North Bay and District; NI, Niagara; NW, North-western; OT, Ottawa–Carleton; OX, Oxford; PE, Peel; PC, Porcupine; PD,
Perth District Health; PT, Peterborough County; RE, Renfrew County and District; SM, Simcoe; SB, Sudbury; TB, Thunder Bay; TK, Timiskaming;
TO, Toronto; WA, Waterloo; WD, Wellington–Dufferin–Guelph; WE, Windsor–Essex County; YK, York. First Nations: CT-FN, Chippewas of the
Thames; HI-FN, Hiavatha; MN-FN, Chippewas of Rama; NC-FN, Mississauga of New Credit; SN-FN, Six Nations of Grand River; TY-FN, Mohawks
of the Bay of Quinte; WI-FN, Walpole Island.

1993; Beebe & Saul, 1995; Singh et al., 1997; Koekemoer et al., Materials and methods
1999; Proft et al., 1999; Walton et al., 1999; Hackett et al., 2000;
Favia et al., 2001; Manonmani et al., 2001; Cohuet et al., Mosquito collections
2003; Kent et al., 2004; Smith & Fonseca, 2004; Kampen, 2005;
Marrelli et al., 2005). Other researchers have examined the taxo- During 2002 and 2003, adults belonging to 37 mosquito spe-
nomic insights that can be gained by combining information from cies were collected across Ontario (Fig. 1, Table 1) as part of the
two or more genes (Nguyen et al., 2000; Krzywinski et al., 2001; West Nile Virus Surveillance Programme. Mosquitoes were
Linton et al., 2001; Mitchell et al., 2002; Linton et al., 2003; sampled with CO2-baited CDC (Center for Disease Control)
Dusfour et al., 2004; Shaikevitch & Vinogradova, 2004; Cook miniature light traps (BioQuip, Rancho Dominguez, CA,
et al., 2005). Multiplex PCR assays that included both universal U.S.A.) and were identified using standard taxonomic keys
(conserved) and species-specific primers were performed by Phuc (Wood et al., 1979; Darsie & Ward, 2005). In addition, individu-
et al. (2003). By contrast with the many studies on nuclear genes, als of five mosquito species from New Brunswick (Table 1)
little taxonomic work has targeted haploid mitochondrial DNA were sequenced to provide preliminary information about the
sequences in mosquitoes and less yet has examined sequence degree of geographical variation in sequences within Canada
diversity in the CO1 gene (Rey et al., 2001; Fairley et al., 2000, and sequences from 19 species were chosen from GenBank
2002; Sallum et al., 2002), despite its established potential for the (Table 1) to test for variation across a greater geographical area.
diagnosis of biological diversity (Hebert et al., 2003a, 2003b, These were the only mtDNA sequences for mosquitoes that
2004). The CO1 region is present in the hundreds of copies matched our CO1 barcode region.
per cell, it generally lacks indels, and, in common with other
protein-coding genes, its third position nucleotides show a high
incidence of base substitutions. Changes in its amino acid Sample preparation, DNA extraction, amplification
sequence occur more slowly than those in any other mitochon- and sequencing
drial gene, aiding resolution of deeper taxonomic affinities and
primer design. Nearly half of the samples used for DNA extraction were ob-
In this study, sequence variation in the barcode region of CO1 tained from 100 ␮L slurries of individual mosquitoes that had
was analysed to test its usefulness in the identification of mos- been homogenized earlier and pre-treated to test for WNv
quito species from eastern Canada. (Condotta et al., 2004). DNA extractions for the remaining

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
CO1 barcodes in mosquitoes 415

Table 1. List of mosquito species, collection sites and number of Table 1. Continued.
sequences per species used in the study.
Collection origin Collection origin Number of
Collection origin Collection origin Number of Species in Ontario outside Ontario specimens
Species in Ontario outside Ontario specimens
Anopheles earlei Central 1
Aedes abserratus Central 2 Northern 3
Northern 7 GenBank 1
South-western 1 Anopheles gambiae GenBank 1
Aedes aegypti GenBank 5 Anopheles maculipennis GenBank 2
Aedes atropalpus South-western 5 Anopheles messeae GenBank 2
GenBank 1 Anopheles punctipennis Central 10
Aedes aurifer Central 1 South-western 5
Aedes canadensis Central 7 Anopheles Central 9
Eastern 4 quadrimaculatus
South-western 3 South-western 2
Northern 2 GenBank 1
New Brunswick 4 Anopheles pullus GenBank 2
Aedes cantator South-western 2 Anopheles rivulorum GenBank 1
New Brunswick 5 Anopheles sacharovi GenBank 2
Aedes cinereus Central 2 Anopheles sinensis GenBank 1
Eastern 1 Anopheles stephensi GenBank 1
South-western 1 Anopheles sundaicus GenBank 2
New Brunswick 3 Anopheles walkeri Central 4
Aedes communis Northern 5 Eastern 2
Aedes dorsalis Central 2 Coquillettidia Central 5
South-western 1 perturbans
Northern 1 Northern 2
Aedes euedes Central 3 Eastern 11
Eastern 4 South-western 1
Aedes excrucians Central 5 Culex pipiens Central 4
Eastern 2 South-western 7
Aedes fitchii Central 1 Culex restuans Central 5
Eastern 4 South-western 5
Aedes grossbecki Central 2 Northern 1
South-western 2 Culex salinarius Eastern 5
Aedes implicatus Central 1 South-western 1
Eastern 6 Culex tarsalis GenBank 1
Northern 3 Culex territans Central 1
South-western 1 Eastern 1
New Brunswick 2 Northern 1
Aedes intrudens Eastern 1 Culiseta impatient GenBank 1
Northern 1 Culiseta inornata South-western 5
Aedes japonicus Central 1 Culiseta minnesotae Northern 1
Eastern 1 Eastern 1
South-western 4 Culiseta morsitans Central 2
Aedes provocans Central 1 Northern 3
Eastern 5 Eastern 1
South-western 1 Orthopodymia alba Central 1
Aedes riparius Central 7 Sabethes cyaneus GenBank 1
Aedes sollicitans South-western 5 Toxorhynchites rutilus GenBank 1
Aedes stictus Northern 1 Toxorhynchites sp. GenBank 1
Aedes stimulans Central 22 Uranotaenia sapphirina Central 3
South-western 4 Eastern 1
Aedes triserratus Central 3 South-western 2
Eastern 4
South-western 3
Aedes trivittatus Central 6
South-western 4
Aedes vexans Central 8
South-western 4
Eastern 1
New Brunswick 8
Anopheles funestus GenBank 1

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
416 A. Cywinska et al.

Mosquito sequences from New Brunswick


MSQ011-04|JE011|Aedes cantator
MSQ012-04|JE012|Aedes cantator
MSQ026-04|JE026|Aedes cantator
MSQ025-04|JE025|Aedes cantator
193-10 Aedes cantator
MSQ018-04|JE018|Aedes cantator
MSQ013-04|JE013|Aedes canadensis
173-20 Aedes canadensis
MSQ006-04|JE006|Aedes canadensis
MSQ020-04|JE020|Aedes canadensis
MSQ027-04|JE027|Aedes canadensis
18-20 Aedes intrudens
193-9 Aedes dorsalis
21-43 Aedes riparius
35.03 Aedes euedes
23.03 Aedes stimulans
30.03 Aedes excrucians
281-45 Aedes trivittatus
SL6 Aedes sollicitans
176-16 Aedes triseriatus
32-14 Aedes aurifer
CO73 Aedes communis
AB55 Aedes abserratus
MSQ007-04|JE007|Aedes implicatus
AB56 Aedes implicatus
MSQ028-04|JE028|Aedes implicatus
PR64 Aedes provocans
32-18 Aedes fitchii
20-19 Aedes grossbecki
ST11 Aedes stictus
JP9 Aedes japonicus
AP20 Aedes atropalpus
MSQ008-04|JE008|Aedes vexans
MSQ023-04|JE023|Aedes vexans
MSQ015-04|JE015|Aedes vexans
MSQ016-04|JE016|Aedes vexans
MSQ002-04|JE002|Aedes vexans
MSQ022-04|JE022|Aedes vexans
MSQ003-04|JE003|Aedes vexans
34.03 Aedes vexans
MSQ009-04|JE009|Aedes vexans
MSQ010-04|JE010|Aedes cinereus
MSQ024-04|JE024|Aedes cinereus
CN46 Aedes cireneus
MSQ001-04|JE001|Aedes cinereus
185-15 Culiseta inornata
I1-40h1LT Orthopodymia alba
193-64 Uranotaenia sapphirina
TT41 Culex territans
PP10 Culex pipiens
SN38 Culex salinarius
RN26 Culex restuans
184-70 Culiseta morsitans
22-52 Culiseta minnesotae
Cq79 Coquillettidia perturbans
C1-23 Anopheles quadrimaculatus Fig. 2. Neighbour-joining analysis of Kimura
N1-34 Anopheles earlei 2-parameter (K2P) distances of CO1 mosquito
43FN Anopheles punctipennis
C1-14 Anopheles walkeri sequences from Ontario and New Brunswick.
SLB-2003 Tipula sp. (outgroup) Labels indicate mosquitoes collected in New
0.02
Brunswick.

samples were obtained from small amounts of tissue (two to sequenced on ABI 377 or 3730 automated sequencers, using
three legs) from frozen pinned mosquitoes. Big Dye vs. 3.1 and LCO1490 primer.
For each mosquito, 30 ␮L of total DNA was extracted using
the GeneEluteTM Mammalian Genomic DNA Miniprep Kit
(Sigma-Aldrich Co., St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.). The primer pairs Data analysis
LCO1490 and HCO2198 (Folmer et al., 1994) or LepF (5′-ATT
CAACCAATCATAAAGATATTGG-3′) and HCO2198 were Electropherograms for the CO1 gene were edited and
subsequently used to amplify ~ 650 bp fragments of CO1 which aligned with SequencherTM Version 4.5 (Gene Codes Corp.,
were trimmed later to 617 bp in the barcode region of CO1. Each Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A.). Pairwise nucleotide sequence diver-
PCR cocktail contained 2.5 ␮L 10 X PCR buffer, pH 8.3 (10 mM gences were calculated using the Kimura 2-parameter (K2P)
Tris-CH1, pH 8.3 and 50 mM KC1, 0.01% NP-40), 1.5 mM model (Kimura, 1980), and neighbour-joining (NJ) analysis
MgCl2, 200 ␮M of each NTP, 1 unit Taq polymerase, 0.3 ␮M of (Saitou & Nei, 1987) in mega 2.1 was used to examine rela-
each primer, 1–5 ␮L of DNA template and the remaining vol- tionships among taxa. All sequences obtained in this study
ume of ddH2O up to 25 ␮L. The PCR thermal regime consisted have been deposited in GenBank. Collection localities and
of one cycle of 1 min at 95 °C, 35 cycles of 1 min at 94 °C, other specimen information, such as the GenBank submission
1 min at 55 °C, 1.5 min at 72 °C, and a final cycle of 7 min at numbers, will be available in the ‘Mosquitoes of Canada’ file
72 °C. All PCR products were subjected to dye terminator cycle in the Completed Project section of the Barcode of Life web-
sequencing reactions (30 cycles, 55 °C annealing), and site (http://www.barcodinglife.org).

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
CO1 barcodes in mosquitoes 417

23.03 Aedes stimulans


30.03 Aedes excrucians
35.03 Aedes euedes
21-43 Aedes riparius
18-20 Aedes intrudens
193-9 Aedes dorsalis
193-10 Aedes cantator
173-20 Aedes canadensis
PR64 Aedes provocans
32-18 Aedes fitchii
20-19 Aedes grossbecki
281-45 Aedes trivittatus
SL6 Aedes sollicitans
176-16 Aedes triseriatus
32-14 Aedes aurifer
CO73 Aedes communis
AB55 Aedes abserratus
AB56 Aedes implicatus
ST11 Aedes stictus
JP9 Aedes japonicus
AP20 Aedes atropalpus
AF425845 Aedes atropalpus
34.03 Aedes vexans
CN46 Aedes cireneus
AF390098 Aedes aegypti
AY056596 Aedes aegypti
AY056597 Aedes aegypti
AF380835 Aedes aegypti
AF425846 Aedes aegypti
185-15 Culiseta inornata
AF425848 Culiseta impatiens
184-70 Culiseta morsitans
22-52 Culiseta minnesotae
Cq79 Coquillettidia perturbans
TT41 Culex territans
PP10 Culex pipiens
SN38 Culex salinarius
RN26 Culex restuans
AF425847 Culex tarsalis
C1-14 Anopheles walkeri
AY423060 Anopheles rivulorum
AF368140 Anopheles sundaicus
AF368117 Anopheles sundaicus
AY423059 Anopheles funestus
AF425844 Anopheles stephensi
NC000084 Anopheles gambiae
AY444348 Anopheles pullus
AY444349 Anopheles pullus
AY444351 Anopheles sinensis
C1-23 Anopheles quadrimaculatus
NC000875 Anopheles quadrimaculatus
43FN Anopheles punctipennis
N1-34 Anopheles earlei
AF425843 Anopheles earlei
AY135695 Anopheles sacharovi
AY135697 Anopheles sacharovi
AY258169 Anopheles messeae
AY258170 Anopheles messeae
AF342719 Anopheles maculipennis
AF491733 Anopheles maculipennis
Fig. 3. Neighbour-joining analysis of Kimura AF425840 Sabethes cyaneus
I1-40LT Orthopodymia alba
2-parameter (K2P) distances of CO1 mosquito AF425849 Toxorhynchites rutilus
sequences from Ontario and from GenBank. AF425850 Toxorhynchites sp.
193-64 Uranotaenia sapphirina
Labels indicate sequences obtained from SLB-2003 Tipula sp. (outgroup)

GenBank.

Results able pseudogene, a CO1 sequence from an individual of Culex


restuans (Theobald), contained one stop codon and 15 amino
Sequences for 37 mosquito species from Ontario were compared acid substitutions in comparison with the consensus sequence
with those for five species from New Brunswick (Fig. 2) and 19 for other mosquitoes. In addition, it showed substantial
species from GenBank (Fig. 3), producing sequence records for sequence divergence (3.9−4.4% nt) from the other representa-
53 mosquito species belonging to nine genera and three sub- tives of its species.
families (Anophelinae, Culicinae and Toxorhynchitinae). Individuals of a single species always grouped closely to-
Individual species were represented by one to 26 individuals, for gether, regardless of where they were collected (Figs 2, 3 and 4).
a total of 302 CO1 sequences. Because these sequences contained All species also possessed a distinctive set of CO1 sequences,
no indels, alignments were straightforward. The CO1 sequences most of which showed low intraspecific divergences. Conspecific
had a strong A + T bias (average 67% for all codons), especially, K2P divergence averaged 0.5% (range 0–3.9%), whereas se-
at third codon positions (91%) (Table 2). The pattern was gener- quence divergences between congeneric species averaged 10.4%
ally consistent across genera, with the A + T content ranging (range 0.2–17.2%) (Fig. 5a, b). Sequence divergences were even
from 64% (Coquillettidia sp.) to 70% (Uranotaenia sp.). higher among species in different genera, averaging 16.0%
All but one of the sequences lacked nonsense or stop codons, (range 7.2–26.3%; Fig. 5c). Most conspecific sequences (98%)
supporting their origin from the mitochondrial gene. One prob- showed < 2% divergence, including those between two

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
418
A. Cywinska et al.

Table 2. Sequence divergence and nucleotide composition for the mosquito genera from Ontario, Canada. The frequencies of nucleotides in sequences are presented as the total average values for
all codon positions and for each codon position separately with the accuracy to tenths of a percent.

Total First codon position Second codon position Third codon position
Sequence % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
divergence
Genus % A T C G A+T A T C G A+T A T C G A+T A T C G A+T

Aedes 17.0–23.0 30.0 37.6 16.3 16.2 67.6 29.1 27.5 15.1 28.4 56.6 13.5 43.3 26.3 16.9 56.8 47.4 41.8 7.5 3.3 89.2
Anopheles 15.8–19.8 29.2 37.5 16.2 17.1 66.7 27.8 26.2 15.1 31.0 54.0 13.8 42.2 27.2 16.8 56.0 46.0 44.1 6.5 3.4 90.1
Coquillettidia 22.3–22.6 26.6 36.9 18.9 17.5 63.5 27.7 23.5 18.7 30.0 51.2 13.1 42.2 27.2 17.4 55.3 39.1 45.1 10.8 5.0 84.2
Culex 18.0–21.4 28.9 40.1 15.4 15.7 69.0 29.1 24.6 17.2 29.1 53.7 13.6 42.7 26.8 16.9 56.3 43.9 53.0 2.2 0.9 96.9
Culiseta 19.5–20.8 29.2 38.5 16.2 16.0 67.7 28.7 26.9 15.7 28.6 55.6 13.7 42.7 26.7 16.9 56.4 45.4 45.9 6.3 2.5 91.3
Orthopodymia 20.5 32.1 37.4 14.9 15.7 69.5 29.1 25.8 16.1 28.6 54.9 13.6 42.3 26.3 17.8 55.9 53.5 44.1 1.9 0.5 97.6
Sabethes 19.9 28.8 40.2 16.1 14.9 69.0 30.5 26.3 16.9 26.3 56.8 14.1 42.7 26.8 16.4 56.8 41.8 51.6 4.7 1.9 93.4
Toxorhynchites 25.5 30.7 38.7 16.5 14.1 69.4 31.9 24.6 18.1 25.4 56.5 15.0 43.4 25.4 16.2 58.4 45.1 48.1 6.1 0.7 93.2
Uranotaenia 17.3 31.5 38.2 14.8 15.5 69.7 30.0 26.8 15.5 27.7 56.8 13.6 42.7 26.8 16.9 56.3 50.7 45.2 2.2 1.9 95.9
Average nt content 29.4 38.0 16.4 16.2 67.4 29.3 26.0 16.4 28.3 55.2 13.8 42.7 26.6 16.9 56.5 45.7 46.6 5.5 2.3 92.3

Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
© 2006 The Authors
CO1 barcodes in mosquitoes 419

14.03
20.03

Northern Ontario 12.03


10.03
32-19

Eastern Ontario 184-38


EX16
FT59

Central Ontario 14-19


44-69
44 69
18.03

Southwestern Ontario 15.03


184-8
1.03
17.03
23.03
Aedes stimulans
24-17
24 17
32-13
16.03
19.03
31.03
33.03
2.03
13.03
21.03
24-78
24 78
168-78
EX1
30.03
EX3
EX70
Aedes excrucians
25.03
EX2
32-2
32-52
35.03
EU17
EU43
FT60
Aedes euedes
X-9
RP4
21-43
RP1
RP3
Aedes riparius
RP5
21-44
RP2
18-20
37-61
184-50
Aedes intrudens
X-37
193-9
184-56
Aedes dorsalis
173-12
193-10
CD10
Aedes cantator
173-7
CD3
CD9
CD1
X-7
CD4
44-26
173-20
Aedes canadensis
CD6
CD11
CD2
CD5
CD7
CD8
CD12
FT61
FT39
32-18
FT44 Aedes fitchii
FT40
20-19
101-62
GB43
Aedes grossbecki
PR60
PR61
PR65
PR64
PR62
14-24
Aedes provocans
PR63
281-70
281-74
281-18
281-15
281-45
TV25
176-9
Aedes trivittatus
176-21
176 21
TV32mA5
TV28
SL7
SL5
SL6
SI67
SI68
Aedes sollicitans
52-18
172-41
176-12
TS14
58-9
176-16
Aedes triserratus
184-35
TS68
172-64
TS67
32-14
17-23 Aedes aurifer
CO73
CO74
CO76
CO75
Aedes communis
32-60
ST12
AB57
AB55
AB23
32-26
16-17
Aedes abserratus
21-16
ST10
AB72
AB22
IP50
32-3
IP52
AB56
AB77
AB24
Aedes implicatus
IP51
21-51
32-6
42-44
ST11
AP21
AP70
Aedes stictus
AP20
AP71
AP72
Aedes atropalpus
191-57
Z-65
JP12
JP9
JP10
JP11
Aedes japonicus
CN47
CN48
CN46
28.03
Aedes cinereus
54-29
VN48
178-22
16-8
VN50
T1-10
VN49
T1-2
Aedes vexans
34.03
E1-72
VN51
281-27
J1-36

Fig. 4. Neighbour-joining analysis of the Kimura 2-parameter (K2P) distances of CO1 sequences from mosquitoes collected in Ontario. Labels indi-
cate the collection areas in Ontario.

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
420 A. Cywinska et al.

CN47
CN48
CN46 Aedes cinereus
28.03

54-29
VN48
178-22
16-8
VN50
T1-10
VN49
T1-2
Aedes vexans
34.03
E1-72
VN51
281-27
J1-36
Q1-52
SP18
SP30
193-64
190-57
Uranotaenia sapphirina
SP19

TT40
I1-40
Orthopodymia alba
TT41
184-42
27-27
Culex territans
IN65
IN64
185-15 Culiseta inornata
179-66
281-11
PP5
PP3
PP6
174-12
PP2
PP10
PP7
Culex pipiens
PP4
PP9
174-9
SN33
SN34
SN35
SN38
191-29
Culex salinarius
SN37
pseudogene
RN29
281-37
RN22
*
176-50
RN24
RN25
RN19
RN26
RN27
Culex restuans
RN23
RN20
RN28
22-52

281-81
MN55 Culiseta minnesotae
184-54
184-70
70-3
MS28
Culiseta morsitans
W1-2
44.03
42.03
Cq75
F-3
43.03
Cq73
Cq78
40.03
Cq79
29.03
37.03
Coquillettidia perturbans
Cq71
Cq77
Cq74
176-18
41.03
39.03
176-15
Cq72
26.03
184-14
36.03
bl31
184-11
32.03
Q1-56
Anopheles quadrimaculatus
C1-23
27.03
bl77
bl74
184-51
EA38
N1-34
184-3
Anopheles earlei
30FN
182-59
31FN
44FN
42FN
43FN
34FN
37FN
182-18
Anopheles punctipennis
36FN
32FN
F-52
28TOR
45FN
281-33
182-15
182-41
C1-14
WK19
WK21
Anopheles walkeri
WK22
SLB-2003 Tipula sp
sp. (outgroup)
Tipula sp. (outgroup)

0.02
Fig. 4. Continued.

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
CO1 barcodes in mosquitoes 421

89%
Within species mean dist=0.56% n=1464

9%
2%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

b Within genus mean dist.=10.31% n=12080

19%
17%

17%
14%

9%
1%
2%

1%
1%
3%
2%
5%
5%

1%
1%
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

c Within family mean dist.=15.44% n=34661


Fig. 5. Pairwise comparisons between CO1

30%
25%

19%
sequences among mosquito species separated

14%
5%

3%
into three categories: (a) intraspecific; (b) intra-

1%
genic, and (c) intergenic differences between
individuals. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

morphologically distinctive subspecies of Aedes vexans (Ae. levels. By contrast, transversions increased steadily from zero
vexans vexans (Meigen) and Ae. vexans nipponi (Theobald), substitutions at the conspecific level to < 10 substitutions at
0−1.11%), but deeper divergences were detected in two species. around 7% divergence at the congeneric level, and then, after a
One specimen of Aedes fitchii (Felt & Young) showed 3.6−3.9% sudden jump to 20 substitutions, grew rapidly to a max of ~ 60
divergence from other conspecific individuals, and specimens substitutions among more distantly related sequences.
of Aedes abserratus (Felt & Young) were separated into three The neighbour-joining analysis of nucleotide and amino acid
clusters showing 2.6–3.2% sequence divergence. A single case sequences showed that most mosquito species separated into
involving Ae. fitchii and Aedes grossbecki Dyar & Knab was distinct clusters (Figs 2, 3 and 4). Species in genera represented
detected where the three individuals of Ae. grossbecki were by more than one taxon usually formed cohesive assemblages.
closer to some individuals of Ae. fitchii than to some of the lat-
ter’s own conspecifics, but they still possessed distinct barcodes.
There was generally high bootstrap support (90−100%) for the Discussion
terminal branches at the species level, with the exception of a
few records for Anopheles species, obtained from GenBank and An effective DNA-based identification system requires the sat-
represented by only one or two individuals. isfaction of three conditions: (a) it must be possible to recover
Plots of the total number of transitions (ts) + transversions the target DNA from all species; (b) the sequence information
(tv) at all sites against the sequence divergence (Fig. 6) showed must be easily analysed, and (c) the information content of the
a rapid increase in transitions at the conspecific level and target sequence must be sufficient to enable species-level iden-
partially at the congeneric levels to a max of 30–40 ts substitu- tification. All three of these requirements were met in this study.
tions at around 7% divergence. The incidence of transitions lev- We were able to recover and align the targeted CO1 fragment
elled off at the border between the congeneric and the intergeneric from all mosquito species we examined. Furthermore, although

80
Tv
70
Ts
Substitutions (Ts, Tv)

60

50

40
Fig. 6. Observed numbers of transitions (ts)
and transversions (tv) for the CO1 gene plotted 30
against sequence divergence. The ts saturation 20
begins to level off at around 7.5% sequence di-
10
vergence. Tv increases steadily from the conspe-
cific level of ~ 7% divergence, then, after a 0
sudden jump, continues to grow more rapidly 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
among more distantly related taxa. Sequence divergence %

© 2006 The Authors


Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424
422 A. Cywinska et al.

we amplified CO1 from total genomic DNA, we detected only a viduals of their species from Ontario. Moreover, other GenBank
single nuclear pseudogene. In addition, specimens of all species sequences from ‘exotic’ species, in the genera Culex, Culiseta
formed distinctive clusters and, with the exception of a single and Anopheles, grouped with allied taxa in our NJ analysis, but
species pair, barcode divergences were relatively large between formed distinct, tight sequence clusters. On this basis, we antici-
taxa. Finally, species boundaries were congruent with those es- pate that further growth in taxon and geographical coverage will
tablished by morphological taxonomic work. not seriously alter the conclusions drawn from this study. In short,
DNA-based species identification systems depend on the we expect that congeneric species will regularly show sequence di-
ability to distinguish intraspecific from interspecific variation. vergences in the CO1 region averaging ~ 10% and that divergence
In the present study, CO1 sequence differences among conge- values for conspecific individuals will usually fall below 0.5%.
neric species were, on average, almost 20 times higher than the In summary, this study has provided the first CO1 barcodes
average differences within species. The average conspecific
for Canadian mosquitoes and has established their effectiveness
K2P divergence for mosquito species (0.55%) in this study is
in discriminating species of mosquitoes recognized through prior
slightly higher than those earlier reported for North American
taxonomic work. Specimens of single species formed barcode
birds (0.27%; Hebert et al., 2004) and moths (0.25%; Hebert
clusters with tight cohesion that were usually clearly distinct
et al., 2003a). However, this difference reflects our detection of
deep intraspecific divergence in two taxa (Ae. fitchii, Ae. from those of allied species. Sequence divergences were, on av-
abserratus), instances that may indicate overlooked sibling erage, nearly 20 times higher for congeneric species than for
species. members of a species, ensuring that species identifications within
Interestingly, two morphologically distinctive subspecies, Ae. this local species assemblage were robust. As an effort has now
vexans vexans and Ae. vexans nipponi (dissimilar coloration of been launched to gather DNA barcodes for all known mosquito
scales on the abdominal sternites) show barcode congruence. species, a full evaluation of the effectiveness of DNA barcoding
The latter subspecies was brought to the U.S.A. in 1999, prob- for members of the family Culicidae should soon be available.
ably from Korea.
We detected one case of low interspecific sequence diver-
gence, involving the Ae. fitchii/Ae. grossbecki complex. Ae. Acknowledgements
grossbecki is rare in Ontario, although common in nearby north-
western Ohio (Venard & Mead, 1953). Adults of this species This work was supported by grants from NSERC to F. F. Hunter
were collected from the Windsor−London area, in the region of and P. D. N. Hebert. We are grateful to Aynsley Thielman and Jim
its first recorded presence in Canada (Helson et al., 1978), and Edsall for mosquito identifications and to Monty Wood and
specimens of Ae. fitchii were collected further to the north-east. Richard Darsie for verifying taxonomic assignments. We thank
The latter individuals showed morphological evidence of Angela Hollis for assistance with DNA sequencing, Jim Edsall of
hybridization in that two types of scales were present on the the New Brunswick Museum, Trudy Stanfield of Health Canada-
wings of single individuals: large triangular scales, typical of First Nation & Inuit Health Branch, various units of the Ontario
Ae. grossbecki, were observed on the anterior half of their Ministry of Health and the West Nile Virus Surveillance Programme
wings and elongate scales, typical of Ae. fitchii, occurred poste- for providing some specimens examined in this study.
riorly. In cases such as this, indicating possible hybridization, as
well as in those cases characterized by incomplete sorting of
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Journal compilation © 2006 The Royal Entomological Society, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 20, 413–424