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Triatoma vitticeps (Stal, 1859) (Hemiptera, Triatominae): one species or a complex of cryptic species?

Grant number: 19/09798-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Principal Investigator:Kaio Cesar Chaboli Alevi
Grantee:Isabella da Silva Masarin
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil


Triatoma vitticeps (Stål, 1859) is an endemic species of Brazil that presents vector importance in the transmission of Chagas disease, as there are reports of adults colonizing domiciliary regions, as well as the capture of specimens infected with the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas, 1909) (the etiologic agent of Chagas' disease) in homes. Analysis of the genetic distance of mitochondrial genes 16S, Cyt and COI from T. vitticeps from Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo revealed high intraspecific distance, which led to the hypothesis that possibly T. vitticeps could be a complex of species (or subspecies). Taking into account that the accomplishment of experimental crosses can help in different aspects, as in the understanding of the taxonomy, systematic and the mechanisms of isolation that limit the gene flow, as well as it allows to evaluate the role of the hybridization in the generation of new genetic variants (that can the present project aims to analyze if T. vitticeps represents only one species or a complex of cryptic species, by means of experimental crosses and analysis of the resulting hybrids until the second (F2), with emphasis on the analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of experimental crosses (copula, oviposition, hatching and hybrids development), as well as in the analysis of the reproductive viability of hybrids (spermatogenesis and morphology of male and female gonads).

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