Issue
Parasite
Volume 24, 2017
Special Issue - ISOPS 9 - International Symposium on Phlebotomine Sandflies
Article Number 47
Number of page(s) 15
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2017050
Published online 01 December 2017

© V. Lehrter et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2017

Licence Creative Commons
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Introduction

Within the Phlebotomus genus (Diptera, Psychodidae), the subgenus Paraphlebotomus Theodor 1948 includes some proven and suspected vectors of leishmaniases, e.g. Phlebotomus sergenti, the main vector of Leishmania tropica [2,20]. Our study focuses on two species of Paraphlebotomus from North Africa: Phlebotomus chabaudi Croset, Abonnenc & Rioux 1970 and Phlebotomus riouxi Depaquit, Killick-Kendrick & Léger, 1998 [9,10,35]. The presence of Ph. chabaudi has also been reported in southern Spain [34].

Although their vectorial role has never been demonstrated, these two species are recorded in several leishmaniasis foci [3,28,40] and are related to Ph. sergenti. In fact, Ph. chabaudi and Leishmania killicki have been described for the first time in the same locality (Tataouine) in Tunisia [36], and L. killicki was also found in Algeria [24,26], especially in Ghardaïa, where some Ph. riouxi were reported, even though Ph. sergenti was the main proven vector [4].

In previous studies, Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi males collected in Algeria and Tunisia were clearly identified morphologically. Molecular processing used two mitochondrial genes: a partial sequence of cytochrome b (Cytb-CB3) [6], as proposed by Esseghir et al. [17], and cytochrome oxidase 1 (COI) [5]. In both studies, phylogenetic analyses emphasized the validity of the two species, supporting their typological status, meaning that the deposited type-specimens are fully justified.

Recently, several specimens from Southern Tunisia showed ambiguous morphological characters [40,41]. According to these authors, several morphological criteria described as specific characters were found together in some specimens that they described as intermediate specimens. They used the same mitochondrial marker as that of Bounamous et al. [6], called Cytb-CB3, in order to compare their sequences with those available in GenBank. They also sequenced a longer fragment of Cytb (called Cytb-CB) and the nuclear elongation factor-1alpha gene (EF-1α) [30,41]. Their molecular results did not match with the morphological identification, not only for the intermediate specimens, but also for the differentiation between Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi: all specimens were clustered in the same clade. According to these results, based on specimens from the single locality of Ghomrassen, they proposed to consider Ph. riouxi as a junior synonym of Ph. chabaudi.

In order to better understand the situation, we decided to broaden the approach by performing a comparative and combined sequence analysis of three loci on larger samples from different geographical populations we previously investigated. We included the two markers used by Tabbabi's team [40,41], Cytb-CB and nuclear EF-1α, and the D1-D2 domain of ribosomal 28S DNA which is known as a good marker for studying the interspecific genetic divergence between species [19,22,38]. This domain has specifically been used to perform analysis at the taxonomic level in Phlebotominae [11,13,31].

Material and methods

Sample collection

Samples analyzed in the present study were those used by Tabbabi et al., Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6,40,41]. For the Tabbabi samples included in this analysis, we only had access to published data. All the other specimens came from our laboratory, including samples used by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6], for which we kept the same sample codes marked in bold in Tables 1 and 3. Our specimens were collected by CDC miniature light traps and sticky paper traps from two regions of Algeria (Ghardaïa and Aurès) and from three regions of Tunisia (Mahdia, Monastir and Ghomrassen) (see Table 1 and Figure 1).

Specimens were stored in 95% ethanol at −20 °C, until dissection. After thawing, each specimen was dissected individually in 95% ethanol with sterile needles. The head and the genitalia were cleared in boiled Marc André solution and mounted in chloral gum between the slide and cover slide for microscopic observation. The rest of the body was dried and preserved at −20 °C in a sterile microtube until DNA extraction.

Taking into consideration the difficulty in identifying females, we restricted the number of females in our sampling. The 9 females and 12 males of Tabbabi's study [41] are represented in Figure 1 as black symbols. Unfortunately, we did not have access to these specimens. However, all the specimens studied by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6], as well as the new samples, were morphologically examined or re-examined in the present study, according to the criteria previously described [6,9,10].

The morphological analyses were focused on the basal lobe of the coxite, known to be the differential character between the two species under study [6,10]. For each processed specimen, the number of coxite lobe setae was counted and morphometrics analysis, using Stream Motion 1.9.1 software (Olympus, Japan), was also applied. In 1998, it was suggested that the number of setae, and the width and length of the coxite lobe were informative to differentiate the species [10]. The width measure did not cause any difficulty: a transversal line was perpendicularly traced in the larger part of the lobe. Considering the difficulties in measuring the length of the basal lobe of the coxite, we substituted it by its perimeter and area, as indicated in Figure 2.

Table 1

Analyzed samples. On a grey background, the samples processed by Tabbabi's team. Samples in bold were used by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6]. Samples not sequenced with all markers are underlined and their accession number replaced by ND.

Table 3

Base variability in EF-1α genotypes. On a grey background: four alleles found by Tabbabi et al. (2014) (01 to 04 = KC478288 to KC478291). On a white background: 16 new genotypes found in our sample (n = 62), composed of 12 new haplotypes (05 to 16); ND = Non Determinate. Samples in bold were used by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6].

thumbnail Figure 1

Sampling locations. Numbers indicate the number of specimens studied with round and square symbols corresponding to Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi, respectively. Samples with a black fill come from Tabbabi's sampling while those with a white fill come from our sampling. The three uncertain specimens of Tabbabi are indicated by a rounded square.

thumbnail Figure 2

Illustration of the procedure of morphometrical measures of area and perimeter of the basal lobe of the coxite. Left, unmarked; right, marked with perimeter and area.

DNA extraction, PCR and sequence analysis

Some DNA extracts (sample codes in bold in Tables 1 and 3) from previous studies [5,6] were simply thawed for direct PCR amplification. For the other specimens, we used the same procedure as for the older extracts: DNA extractions were individually carried out using a QIAamp DNA Mini Kit (Qiagen), according to the manufacturer's protocol. Samples were crushed in ATL buffer with a piston pellet and DNA extracts were eluted in 180 μL to 200 μL of AE buffer and stored at −20 °C. Cytb-CB was amplified using CB1-SE: 5′-TATGTACTACCCTGAGGACAAATATC-3′ and CB-R06: 5′-TATCTAATGGTTTCAAAACAATTGC-3′ primers, as previously described [41]. For EF-1α amplification, primers EF-F05: 5′-CCTGGACATCGTGATTTCAT-3′ and EF-R08: 5′-CCACCAATCTTGTAGACATCCTG-3′ were used [41]. The ribosomal domain D1-D2 was amplified using C1′: 5′-ACCCGCTGAATTTAAGCAT-3′and D2: 5′-TCCGTGTTTCAAGACGGG-3′ primers [32]. The PCR conditions for Cytb-CB and EF-1α were exactly the same as those used by Tabbabi et al. [41]. All PCRs were performed in a 50 μL volume using 5 μL of extracted DNA solution of each specimen individually, and 12.5 pmol of the primer sets in a thermocycler. The PCR mix contained (final concentrations) 10 mM Tris HCl (pH 8.3), 1.5 mM MgCl2, 50 mM KCl, 0.01% Triton X-100, 200 mM dNTP each base, and 1.25 units of Taq polymerase (Eppendorf, Germany). For each PCR run, a negative control using 5 μL of ultrapure sterile water and a positive control using a DNA extract with a known sequence, were included. PCR programs were carried out with an initial denaturation step at 94 °C for 3 min and finished by an extension step at 68 °C for 10 min. Between these two steps, cycling program parameters depended on the markers: for Cytb-CB, 40 cycles of denaturation at 94 °C for 45 sec, annealing at 50 °C for 45 sec, and extension at 68 °C for 1 min; for D1-D2, 30 cycles of denaturation at 94 °C for 1 min, annealing at 58 °C for 1 min, and extension at 68 °C for 1 min; for EF-1α, 5 cycles of denaturation at 94 °C for 30 sec, annealing at 44 °C for 30 sec, and extension at 68 °C for 1 min, followed by 30 similar cycles with an annealing temperature at 48 °C [29]. All PCR products were first verified using the molecular weight marker 100 bp DNA Ladder (Promega) in GelGreen (Biotium) stained 1.5% agarose gel electrophoresis. The PCR products were then sequenced in both directions on a Beckman Coulter Genomics sequencer, with the same primers used for PCR except that CB1-SE was replaced by CB1: 5′-TATGTACTACCATGAGGACAAATATC-3′, as mentioned by Tabbabi et al. [41]. Sequences were then aligned with the alignment editor implemented in BioEdit 7.0.8.0 [23] and checked by eye. Sequence alignments were performed respecting the following criteria: (1) to minimize the number of inferred mutations (number of steps); (2) to prefer substitution to insertion-deletion, and (3) to prefer transitions to transversions. Genetic divergences between the sequences were measured using the Tamura-Nei model and the presence of open reading frames (ORFs) was checked using MEGA6 [42]. Tabbabi's sequences were used as the reference to perform alignment. The primer sequences were removed. Phylogenetic inferences derived from maximum likelihood (ML) for each gene separately were performed using the PhyML 3.0 software program [21]. For these analyses, the best fitting nucleotide substitution model was determined through the automatic model selection tool available on the PhyML server. Then, we used RAxML software [39] for a partitioned ML analysis with a GTR (general time reversible) model for the combined analysis of the three genes. Each gene was considered as a different partition and a specific separate substitution model was assigned. For each analysis, bootstrapping was used to test the branch strength of the phylogenetic trees. For all phylogenies, we used one sequence of Ph. sergenti as the outgroup. The trees were then visualized using TreeDyn, version 198.3 [7]. Whenever possible, sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. [41] were added to the analyses.

Results

Morphological identification

All of our specimens were correctly identified as Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi, according to morphological criteria of initial descriptions for males [9,10] and to the pharyngeal armature for females [6]. All females were morphologically identified based on the presence or absence of anterolateral teeth in the pharynx. All measures related to the coxite lobe are listed in Table 2. Considering these data, we found significant interspecific differences between all measurements of the basal lobe of the coxite, without significant geographical variability (data not shown). We did not find any morphological intermediate specimen. All Ph. riouxi were found in the south of Tunisia and in the south of Algeria.

Table 2

Morphological data of male samples: for each species, mean and standard deviation (sd) are calculated and minimal (min) and maximal (max) values are indicated.

Sequence analyses

A total of 63 specimens were analyzed and compared to the sequences of the 21 specimens from Tabbabi et al. [41] (Table 1).

Cytochrome b analyses

For the 56 specimens successfully amplified, the length of the cytochrome b fragment Cytb-CB used for analysis was 628 bp. The phylogenetic tree obtained by adding 17 haplotypes of Tabbabi's data [41] highlighted two distinct clades (Figure 3). The first one was only composed of Ph. chabaudi as supported by a bootstrap value of 88.6%, with a geographical subdivision between Algeria (bootstrap value < 50%) and Tunisia (bootstrap value = 97.4%). The second clade was composed of a mix of our own Ph. riouxi and the 17 haplotypes of Tabbabi from the Ghomrassen area, identified as Ph. chabaudi, Ph. riouxi and intermediates. For this clade, the bootstrap value was lower (59.6%). Within this clade, the specimens were also subdivided into two clusters according to the geographic area, i.e. southern Tunisia versus southern Algeria but with low bootstrap values < 50% and = 62.2 %, respectively.

We obtained congruent results between morphology and molecular observations in our samples, with an interspecific genetic divergence of 12.2% (SD = 1.38%) for Cytb-CB between Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi. Eleven haplotypes in our 43 Ph. chabaudi samples had an intraspecific divergence of 0.60% (SD = 0.13%), and interestingly, a higher intraspecific divergence in the 13 Ph. riouxi with 12 haplotypes: 4.38% (SD = 0.59%).

thumbnail Figure 3

Phylogenetic tree inferred from cytochrome B data of Phlebotomus chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens. We added to the analysis the sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. (2014). The phylogram results from bootstrapped data sets obtained using the PhyML 3.0 program [21] using GTR (general time reversible) + Γ distribution (gamma distribution of rates with four rate categories). The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. The percentages above the branches are the frequencies with which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on the early branches are shown. A sequence of Ph. sergenti (AF161216) was used as the outgroup. The sequences marked by * were published by Tabbabi et al. (2014); R = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. riouxi. C = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. chabaudi. RC = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. chabaudi or Ph. riouxi. Int = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as intermediate between Ph. riouxi and Ph. chabaudi.

EF-1α analyses

EF-1α amplification gave a fragment of 454 bp in length. All variable sites of 83 sequences alignment are shown in Table 3. One genotype R01 (01/01) was found in all 13 specimens we identified as Ph. riouxi. They corresponded to genotype 01/01 of Tabbabi's samples (=genotype R01 according to our label). Interestingly, Ph. chabaudi showed very different genotypes (C01 to C16) compared to R01, with five different bases between the two clades, as seen in the phylogenetic tree based on genotypes (Figure 4). These data led to a high bootstrap value for the Ph. riouxi clade (98.6%) and a lower one (51.4%) for Ph. chabaudi.

Analyses considering genotypes were performed as we obtained several heterozygous positions (double peaks), represented by ambiguous bases in the sequences, for three specimens (Table 3). Indeed, several ambiguous positions were detected in some specimens in the same sequence, precluding the haplotype determination. This is the case for genotypes C12 and C14, corresponding to three Ph. chabaudi. All double peaks were located in the third position of the codon without changing the amino acid translation. Overall, on the 46 samples for which the haplotypes could be determined, the frequency of the major haplotype was 30% (haplotype 05), followed by haplotype 10 and haplotype 06 with 17% and 11%, respectively. Concerning our sampling, interspecific divergence of EF-1α between Ph. riouxi and Ph. chabaudi was 1.15% (SD = 0.53%), and intraspecific divergences were 0 and 0.009%, respectively, corresponding to normal values for this marker [43].

Conversely to Tabbabi's studies [40,41], the sequences obtained in our sampling were congruent with the morphological identification.

thumbnail Figure 4

Phylogenetic tree inferred from Phlebotomus chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens using the data of elongation factor 1-α gene. Sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. (2014) were added to the analyses. The phylogram results from bootstrapped data sets obtained using the PhyML 3.0 program [21] using the HKY85 [25] + I (proportion of invariant sites) model. The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. Percentages shown above the branches are the frequencies at which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on the early branches are shown. A sequence of Ph. sergenti (EF416841) was used as the outgroup. The sequences marked by * were published by Tabbabi et al. (2014); R = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. riouxi. RC = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. chabaudi or Ph. riouxi. Int = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as intermediate between Ph. riouxi and Ph. chabaudi. RCint = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. riouxi, Ph. chabaudi and intermediate specimens between the two species.

D1-D2 analyses and concatenate analyses

D1-D2 amplification of our 55 samples gave fragments from 712 to 714 bp in length. For this marker, the interspecific genetic divergence between Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi was 0.50% (SD = 0.26%) and the intraspecific divergence was 0 and 0.1%, respectively. This value (0.50%) was close to the genetic divergence observed between the two well-separated species Ph. chabaudi and Ph. sergenti (0.74%, SD = 0.31%). The lack of or the very low intraspecific divergence can be explained by the low mutation rate of this conserved marker [19,22,38]. Phylogenetic analysis based on the sequences of the D1-D2 domain of 28S rDNA allowed us to differentiate the two species by their clustering into two main clades (Figure 5). In spite of a low genetic divergence, the bootstrap value was strong for the Ph. riouxi clade (89.6%) and 68.6% for Ph. chabaudi.

Concatenated analyses of the three loci using a partitioned ML model also showed clear clustering in two clades corresponding to the morphological identifications of Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi (Figure 6). The bootstrap values were 70.6% for the Ph. chabaudi clade and 92.8% for the Ph. riouxi clade. As indicated by the comparison of the trees, we did not find any signs of introgression.

thumbnail Figure 5

Phylogenetic tree inferred from Phlebotomus chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens using the data of D1-D2 domain of 28S rDNA. Sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. (2014) were added to the analyses. The phylogram results from bootstrapped data sets obtained using the PhyML 3.0 program [21] using the HKY85 model [25]. The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. The percentages above the branches are the frequencies with which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on the early branches are shown. A sequence of Ph. sergenti (KY764627) was used as the outgroup.

thumbnail Figure 6

Phylogenetic tree inferred by concatenation of the three loci under study. The phylogram was obtained by a partitioned ML analysis with a GTR (general time reversible) + Γ (gamma distribution of rates with four rate categories) + I (proportion of invariant sites) model using RAxML software [39]. The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. The percentages above the branches are the frequencies with which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on branches are shown. Concatenated sequences of Ph. sergenti were used as the outgroup.

Discussion

Phlebotomus chabaudi was described for the first time in Tunisia [9] as Paraphlebotomus with a sharply pointed aedeagus (Figure 7, A and D). The same year, this species was also recorded in Algeria [33] and was described with a larger and more tufted basal lobe (Figure 7, E and F). The authors linked this observation to variability due to the geographically segregated populations. These two morphs have been found in sympatry without intermediate specimens [10], justifying the description of a new species: Ph. riouxi (Figure 7, B, C, E, F).

The morphological identification of the female remains very difficult. It is clearly not possible to differentiate the spermathecae of the two species (Figure 8, C and D). Although Depaquit et al. [10] suggested examining the appearance of the armature in the genital atrium, this criterion remains uncertain. Regarding the pharynx, Bounamous et al. [6] noted the presence of anterolateral teeth in Ph. chabaudi, a character not found in Ph. riouxi (Figure 8, A and B). They suggested the use of this character to identify these two species, pending a larger sampling. Nevertheless, it seems that the individual variability of the pharyngeal armature of Ph. chabaudi makes this distinction hazardous for a non-trained entomologist.

Consequently, we selected a majority of males in the present study in order to reduce the risk of misidentification. Only a few females for which the morphological identifications were congruent with molecular analyses were included (those previously processed by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6]) (Table 1). In the study by Tabbabi et al. [41], out of 21 specimens, two-thirds (n = 14) were morphologically identified as Ph. riouxi out of which 6 were males and 8 were females. Interestingly, despite the difficulty in identifying the females, all ambiguous specimens were males. Unfortunately, we could not include the specimens processed by Tabbabi in the present study and we did not find any intermediate specimens in our collection. Consequently, we performed a detailed phylogenetic analysis of Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens selected from our collection, and we added the sequences published by Tabbabi et al. [41]. Our molecular study included three independent markers. The long fragment of Cytb-CB codes for a partial protein sequence of this gene, whereas the shorter fragment (Cytb-CB3) is more frequently used for taxonomic studies [17]. Tabbabi et al. [40,41] analyzed the Cytb-CB fragment that they considered more informative than the Cytb-CB3 fragment. The interspecific (between closely related and/or vicariant species) and intraspecific divergence values observed for the mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb-CB and Cytb-CB3) in Phlebotomus spp. are 2.7-11% and 0.1–2.5%, respectively [12,17,27]. The 12.2% interspecific value between Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi supports the genetic differentiation of these two taxa. Regarding the intraspecific values, the value for Ph. chabaudi (0.6%) was in the commonly accepted range. For Ph. riouxi, the value (4.38%) is higher than the accepted range but close to the value observed in Sergentomyia clydei Sinton 1928, displaying a value of 5.5% due to a divergent population from the Seychelles [32].

The nuclear EF-1α is known to be a good phylogenetic marker in Metazoa [37] and was previously used in several molecular studies in Phlebotomine sandflies [1,16,18,29,43]. Its utility in other groups has also been demonstrated in heliothine moths [8] and in Triatominae [14]. We selected this marker to compare our data with those of Tabbabi et al. [41]. Several studies successfully compared haplotypes of EF-1α [41,44], although EF-1α also showed considerable diversity of haplotypes for a same specimen, thus complicating the analyses [29,43]. In the present study, we also noted significant haplotype diversity. Ribosomal marker D1-D2 does not have this disadvantage. Indeed, this marker is present in many homogeneous copies in the genome, thus providing a good signal that is easy to use as a genetic marker [38]. However the nuclear ribosomal DNA may provide only a short-term marker for introgression, because of the homogenization of the multi-copy genes at this locus [15]. This marker is independent of the two previous ones and is more conserved [13]. We used this marker in previous studies and showed its usefulness for phylogenetic analysis [11,31,32].

Several ambiguous bases were observed in EF1-α sequences. Nevertheless, these ambiguous positions do not correspond to intermediate profiles between the two species. All our Ph. riouxi specimens from Algeria and Tunisia revealed the genotype R01 (homozygotes) corresponding to the EF_chab01 haplotype defined by Tabbabi et al. [41] (Table 3), in agreement with the results of Boubidi et al. [4]. In contrast, we obtained many new sequences of EF-1α in Ph. chabaudi called C01 to C16 (Table 3), providing five synapomorphic nucleotide substitutions that distinguished the two species.

Cytb and EF-1α have already been combined to demonstrate mitochondrial introgression in New World Phlebotomine sandflies [43]. Our study did not find any introgression between the two species under examination, as confirmed by the ribosomal D1-D2 analyses.

The independent phylogenetic analyses of the three genes (Figures 3, 4 and 5) underlined the subdivision of Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens into two independent clades. Nevertheless, our data support low genetic divergence between the two species, suggesting recent differentiation between these two taxa. This low divergence is confirmed by the low bootstrap values observed in Cytb phylogeny for the Ph. riouxi branch (Figure 3), in EF-1α phylogeny for the Ph. chabaudi branch (Figure 4), and in D1D2 phylogeny for the Ph. chabaudi branch (Figure 5). The phylogeny of the concatenated genes revealed bootstrap values above 70% for the two branches, suggesting that added data can only increase the differentiation between the two species.

When we consider the two phylogenies including the sequences published by Tabbabi et al. [41], i.e. Cytb and EF-1α phylogenies (Figures 3 and 4), all Tabbabi's sequences are included in the Ph. riouxi branch, without clear distinction between our specimens and Tabbabi's specimens. From these data, it is difficult to explain the disagreement between morphological characters and molecular data observed by Tabbabi et al. It would thus appear essential to further investigate these samples on genetic and morphological grounds to make a comparison with Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens from Algeria and North Tunisia.

It is worth noting that the specimens in the Ph. riouxi branch were only collected in Southern Algeria and Southern Tunisia, and that the specimens in the Ph. chabaudi branch were only collected in Northern Algeria and Northern Tunisia. This suggests a related evolution of these two taxa between the South of these two countries for Ph. riouxi and between the North of these two countries for Ph. chabaudi. The molecular clock of Cytb has been calculated for Ph. papatasi (Scopoli, 1786) and Ph. duboscqi Neveu-Lemaire 1906, two vicariant species separated by the Sahara. Its estimated calibration ranged from 1 to 2.5% variability per million years [17] or from 1.34 to 2.64% per million years [18]. Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi exhibit a Cytb mean interspecific genetic divergence of 12.2%. If we apply this calibration to the latter species, we hypothesized their speciation started between 12.2 and 4.62 Mya. This period corresponds to the aridification of the Sahara desert (10 to 6 Mya). The vicariance of Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi could result from the same event as the vicariance of Ph. papatasi and Ph. duboscqi. The presence of intermediate specimens as described by Tabbabi et al. [41], as well as specimens with morphological criteria corresponding to Ph. chabaudi in the South of Tunisia suggests the sympatry of the two species in Ghomrassen, which could be explained by a mixing of the two species. Only the investigation of sympatric populations will answer the unresolved question of whether or not the two lineages usually behave as true biological species when they meet. Further morphological and molecular studies on a larger sample of Ph. riouxi (e.g. from Ghomrassen) and on more genes remain necessary to help in determining the evolutionary history of these two species.

Finally, these results still support the existence of two species, and their typological validity, thus refuting Ph. riouxi as a junior synonym. The close genetic relationships and the intermediate specimens detected by Tabbabi et al. [41], however, suggest a recent speciation phenomenon followed by several migration events. Further genetic and morphological studies of specimens from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco will help to better understand the evolution of these two species in North Africa.

thumbnail Figure 7

Differentiation criteria of males (A to F) 100X. A and D: aedeagus and basal lobe of coxite of Ph. chabaudi (SMO562); B and E: aedeagus and basal lobe of coxite of Ph. riouxi from Algeria (RX2); C and F: aedeagus and basal lobe of coxite of Ph. riouxi from Tunisia (TAT63). All photographs are set on the same scale.

thumbnail Figure 8

Differentiation criteria of females (A to D), 100X. A and C: pharynx and spermathecae of Ph. chabaudi (CBZAT583); B and D: pharynx and spermathecae of Ph. riouxi (TAT186 and TAT24). All photographs are set on the same scale.

Acknowledgments

We wish to thank our colleagues from Algeria and Tunisia who caught the specimens processed and Pr. Matthieu Kaltenbach for proofreading this manuscript.

References

  1. Absavaran A, Rassi Y, Parvizi P, Oshaghi MA, Abaie MR, Rafizadeh S, Mohebali M, Zarea Z, Javadian E. 2009. Identification of sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius based on molecular and morphological characters in North Western Iran. Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases, 3(2), 22. (In the text)
  2. Al-Zahrani MA, Peters W, Evans DA, Chin C, Smith V, Lane RP. 1988. Phlebotomus sergenti, a vector of Leishmania tropica in Saudi Arabia. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 82(3), 416. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  3. Aoun K, Bouratbine A. 2014. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in North Africa: a review. Parasite, 21, 14. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  4. Boubidi SC, Benallal K, Boudrissa A, Bouiba L, Bouchareb B, Garni R, Bouratbine A, Ravel C, Dvorak V, Votypka J, Volf P, Harrat Z. 2011. Phlebotomus sergenti (Parrot, 1917) identified as Leishmania killicki host in Ghardaïa, south Algeria. Microbes and Infection, 13(7), 691–696. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  5. Boudabous R, Bounamous A, Jouet D, Depaquit J, Augot D, Ferté H, Berchi S, Couloux A, Veuille M, Babba H. 2009. Mitochondrial DNA differentiation between two closely related species, Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) chabaudi and Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) riouxi (Diptera: Psychodidae), based on direct sequencing and Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism. Annals of Entomological Society of America, 102(3), 347–353. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  6. Bounamous A, Boudabous R, Jouet D, Augot D, Ferté H, Babba H, Berchi S, Depaquit J. 2008. Caractérisation moléculaire et morphologique de deux espèces affines de Paraphlebotomus: Phlebotomus chabaudi Croset, Abonnenc & Rioux, 1970 et Ph. riouxi. Depaquit, Killick-Kendrick & Léger, 1998 (Diptera: Psychodidae). Parasite, 15(4), 565–571. [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [PubMed] (In the text)
  7. Chevenet F, Brun C, Bañuls A-L., Jacq B, Christen R. 2006. TreeDyn: towards dynamic graphics and annotations for analyses of trees. BMC bioinformatics, 7(1), 439. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  8. Cho S, Mitchell A, Regier JC, Mitter C, Poole RW, Friedlander TP, Zhao S. 1995. A highly conserved nuclear gene for low-level phylogenetics: elongation factor-1 alpha recovers morphology-based tree for heliothine moths. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 12(4), 650–656. [PubMed] (In the text)
  9. Croset H, Abonnenc E, Rioux JA. 1970. Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) chabaudi n. sp. (Diptera-Psychodidae). Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 45(6), 863–873. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  10. Depaquit J, Léger N, Killick-Kendrick R. 1998. Description de Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) riouxi n. sp. (Diptera-Psychodidae) d'Afrique du Nord. Parasite, 5, 151–158. [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [PubMed] (In the text)
  11. Depaquit J, Perrotey S, Lecointre G, Tillier A, Tillier S, Ferté H, Kaltenbach M, Léger N. 1998. Molecular systematics of Phlebotominae: a pilot study. Paraphyly of the genus Phlebotomus. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris 321, 849 55. (In the text)
  12. Depaquit J, Bounamous A, Akhoundi M, Augot D, Sauvage F, Dvorak V, Chaibullinova A, Pesson B, Volf P, Léger N. 2013. A taxonomic study of Phlebotomus (Larroussius) perfiliewi s. l. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 20, 500–508. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  13. Depaquit J. 2014. Molecular systematics applied to Phlebotomine sandflies: Review and perspectives. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 28, 744–756. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  14. Díaz S, Triana-Chávez O, Gómez-Palacio A. 2016. The nuclear elongation factor-1α gene: a promising marker for phylogenetic studies of Triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 43, 274–280. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  15. Dover G. 1982. Molecular drive: a cohesive mode of species evolution. Nature 299, 111–117. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  16. Ebrahimi S, Bordbar A, Parvizi P. 2016. Genetic dynamics in the sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) nuclear and mitochondrial genotypes: evidence for vector adaptation at the border of Iran with Iraq. Parasites & Vectors, 9(1). [CrossRef] (In the text)
  17. Esseghir S, Ready PD, Killick-Kendrick R, Ben-Ismail R. 1997. Mitochondrial haplotypes and phylogeography of Phlebotomus vectors of Leishmania major. Insect Molecular Biology, 6(3), 211–225. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  18. Esseghir S, Ready PD, Ben-Ismail R. 2000. Speciation of Phlebotomus sandflies of the subgenus Larroussius coincided with the late Miocene-Pliocene aridification of the Mediterranean subregion. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 70(2), 189–219. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  19. Friedrich M, Tautz D. 1997. Evolution and phylogeny of the Diptera: a molecular phylogenetic analysis using 28S rDNA sequences. Systematic Biology, 46(4), 674–698. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  20. Guilvard E, Rioux JA, Gallego M, Pratlong F, Mahjour J, Martinez-Ortega E, Dereure J, Saddiki A, Martini A. 1991. Leishmania tropica au Maroc. III. Rôle vecteur de Phlebotomus sergenti. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 66, 96–99. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  21. Guindon S, Dufayard JF, Lefort V, Anisimova M, Hordijk W, Gascuel O. 2010. New algorithms and methods to estimate maximum-likelihood phylogenies: assessing the performance of PhyML 3.0. Systematic Biology, 59(3), 307–321. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  22. Hadj-Henni L, De Meulemeester T, Mathieu B, Depaquit J, Augot D. 2015. Taxonomic assessment of Culicoides brunnicans, C. santonicus and C. vexans (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in France: Implications in systematics. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 33, 324–331. (In the text)
  23. Hall TA. 1999. BIOEDIT: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95 ⁄ 98 ⁄ NT. Nucleic Acids Symposium Series 41, 95–98. (In the text)
  24. Harrat Z, Boubidi SC, Pratlong F, Benikhlef R, Selt B, Dedet JP, Ravel C, Belkaid M. 2009. Description of a dermatropic Leishmania close to L. killicki (Rioux, Lanotte & Pratlong 1986) in Algeria. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103(7), 716–720. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  25. Hasegawa M, Kishino H, Yano T. 1985. Dating of the human-ape splitting by a molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 22(2), 160–174. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  26. Izri A, Bendjaballah A, Andriantsoanirina V, Durand R. 2014. Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania killicki, Algeria. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 20(3), 502–504. (In the text)
  27. Latrofa MS, Dantas-Torres F, Weigl S, Tarallo VD, Parisi A, Traversa D, Otranto D. 2011. Multilocus molecular and phylogenetic analysis of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) from southern Italy. Acta Tropica, 119(2–3), 91–98. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  28. Maubon D, Thurot-Guillou C, Ravel C, Leccia M-T., Pelloux H. 2009. Leishmania killicki imported from Tunisian desert. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 15, 1864–1865. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  29. Parvizi P, Assmar M. 2007. Nuclear elongation factor-1alpha gene a molecular marker for iranian sandfly identification. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 36(2), 25–37. (In the text)
  30. Parvizi P, Taherkhani H, Ready PD. 2010. Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phlebotomus mongolensis (Diptera: Psychodidae): indistinguishable by the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in Iran. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 100(04), 415–420. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  31. Rahola N, Henni LH, Obame J, Ayala D, Makanga BK, Lehrter V, Izri A, Paupy C, Depaquit J. 2016. A molecular study of the genus Spelaeomyia (Diptera: Phlebotominae) with description of the male of Spelaeomyia moucheti. Parasites & Vectors, 9, 367. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  32. Randrianambinintsoa FJ, Léger N, Robert V, Depaquit J. 2014. Paraphyly of the subgenus Sintonius (Diptera, Psychodidae, Sergentomyia): status of the Malagasy species. Creation of a new subgenus and description of a new species. PLoS ONE, 9(6), e98065. (In the text)
  33. Rioux JA, Croset H, Guy Y. 1970. Presence of Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) chabaudi Croset, Abonnenc and Rioux, 1970 in Algeria. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 45(6), 875–880. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  34. Rioux JA, Croset H, Leger N, Benmansour N, Cadi Soussi M. 1975. Presence of Phlebotomus bergeroti, Phlebotomus chabaudi, Phlebotomus chadlii and Sergentomyia christophersi in Morocco. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 50(4), 493–506. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  35. Rioux JA, Croset H, Léger N. 1974. Présence en Espagne de Phlebotomus chabaudi Croset, Abonnenc and Rioux, 1970 (Diptera − Psychodidae). Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 49(4), 505–507. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  36. Rioux JA, Lanotte G, Pratlong F. 1986. Leishmania killicki n.sp. (Kinetoplastida-Trypanosomatidae). In Leishmania: taxonomie et phylogénèse: applications éco-épidémiologiques. IMEEE, Montpellier, France. p. 139–142. (In the text)
  37. Roger AJ, Sandblom O, Doolittle WF, Philippe H. 1999. An evaluation of elongation factor 1 alpha as a phylogenetic marker for eukaryotes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 16(2), 218–233. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  38. Sonnenberg R, Nolte AW, Tautz D. 2007. An evaluation of LSU rDNA D1-D2 sequences for their use in species identification. Frontiers in Zoology, 4(1), 1. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  39. Stamatakis A, 2006. RAxML-VI-HPC: maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses with thousands of taxa and mixed models. Bioinformatics 22(21), 2688–2690. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  40. Tabbabi A, Ghrab J, Aoun K, Ready PD, Bouratbine A. 2011. Habitats of the sandfly vectors of Leishmania tropica and L. major in a mixed focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in southeast Tunisia. Acta Tropica, 119(2–3), 131–137. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  41. Tabbabi A, Rhim A, Ghrab J, Martin O, Aoun K, Bouratbine A, Ready PD. 2014. Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) riouxi: a synonym of Phlebotomus chabaudi without any proven vectorial role in Tunisia and Algeria. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 28(S1), 51–59. [CrossRef] (In the text)
  42. Tamura K, Stecher G, Peterson D, Filipski A, Kumar S. 2013. MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 6.0. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30(12), 2725–2729. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  43. Testa JM, Montoya-Lerma J, Cadena H, Oviedo M, Ready PD. 2002. Molecular identification of vectors of Leishmania in Colombia: mitochondrial introgression in the Lutzomyia townsendi series. Acta Tropica, 84(3), 205–218. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)
  44. Wardhana AH, Hall MJR, Mahamdallie SS, Muharsini S, Cameron MM, Ready PD. 2012. Phylogenetics of the Old World screwworm fly and its significance for planning control and monitoring invasions in Asia. International Journal for Parasitology, 42(8), 729–738. [CrossRef] [PubMed] (In the text)

Cite this article as: Lehrter V, Bañuls A-L, Léger N, Rioux J-A, Depaquit J. 2017. Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) chabaudi and Phlebotomus riouxi: closely related species or synonyms? Parasite 24, 47

All Tables

Table 1

Analyzed samples. On a grey background, the samples processed by Tabbabi's team. Samples in bold were used by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6]. Samples not sequenced with all markers are underlined and their accession number replaced by ND.

Table 3

Base variability in EF-1α genotypes. On a grey background: four alleles found by Tabbabi et al. (2014) (01 to 04 = KC478288 to KC478291). On a white background: 16 new genotypes found in our sample (n = 62), composed of 12 new haplotypes (05 to 16); ND = Non Determinate. Samples in bold were used by Bounamous et al. and Boudabous et al. [5,6].

Table 2

Morphological data of male samples: for each species, mean and standard deviation (sd) are calculated and minimal (min) and maximal (max) values are indicated.

All Figures

thumbnail Figure 1

Sampling locations. Numbers indicate the number of specimens studied with round and square symbols corresponding to Ph. chabaudi and Ph. riouxi, respectively. Samples with a black fill come from Tabbabi's sampling while those with a white fill come from our sampling. The three uncertain specimens of Tabbabi are indicated by a rounded square.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 2

Illustration of the procedure of morphometrical measures of area and perimeter of the basal lobe of the coxite. Left, unmarked; right, marked with perimeter and area.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 3

Phylogenetic tree inferred from cytochrome B data of Phlebotomus chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens. We added to the analysis the sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. (2014). The phylogram results from bootstrapped data sets obtained using the PhyML 3.0 program [21] using GTR (general time reversible) + Γ distribution (gamma distribution of rates with four rate categories). The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. The percentages above the branches are the frequencies with which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on the early branches are shown. A sequence of Ph. sergenti (AF161216) was used as the outgroup. The sequences marked by * were published by Tabbabi et al. (2014); R = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. riouxi. C = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. chabaudi. RC = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. chabaudi or Ph. riouxi. Int = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as intermediate between Ph. riouxi and Ph. chabaudi.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 4

Phylogenetic tree inferred from Phlebotomus chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens using the data of elongation factor 1-α gene. Sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. (2014) were added to the analyses. The phylogram results from bootstrapped data sets obtained using the PhyML 3.0 program [21] using the HKY85 [25] + I (proportion of invariant sites) model. The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. Percentages shown above the branches are the frequencies at which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on the early branches are shown. A sequence of Ph. sergenti (EF416841) was used as the outgroup. The sequences marked by * were published by Tabbabi et al. (2014); R = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. riouxi. RC = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. chabaudi or Ph. riouxi. Int = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as intermediate between Ph. riouxi and Ph. chabaudi. RCint = sequences found in specimens morphologically characterized as Ph. riouxi, Ph. chabaudi and intermediate specimens between the two species.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 5

Phylogenetic tree inferred from Phlebotomus chabaudi and Ph. riouxi specimens using the data of D1-D2 domain of 28S rDNA. Sequences of Ph. chabaudi published by Tabbabi et al. (2014) were added to the analyses. The phylogram results from bootstrapped data sets obtained using the PhyML 3.0 program [21] using the HKY85 model [25]. The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. The percentages above the branches are the frequencies with which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on the early branches are shown. A sequence of Ph. sergenti (KY764627) was used as the outgroup.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 6

Phylogenetic tree inferred by concatenation of the three loci under study. The phylogram was obtained by a partitioned ML analysis with a GTR (general time reversible) + Γ (gamma distribution of rates with four rate categories) + I (proportion of invariant sites) model using RAxML software [39]. The tree was visualized using the TreeDyn program, version 198.3 [7]. The percentages above the branches are the frequencies with which a given branch appeared in 500 bootstrap replications. Only bootstrap values higher than 50% on branches are shown. Concatenated sequences of Ph. sergenti were used as the outgroup.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 7

Differentiation criteria of males (A to F) 100X. A and D: aedeagus and basal lobe of coxite of Ph. chabaudi (SMO562); B and E: aedeagus and basal lobe of coxite of Ph. riouxi from Algeria (RX2); C and F: aedeagus and basal lobe of coxite of Ph. riouxi from Tunisia (TAT63). All photographs are set on the same scale.

In the text
thumbnail Figure 8

Differentiation criteria of females (A to D), 100X. A and C: pharynx and spermathecae of Ph. chabaudi (CBZAT583); B and D: pharynx and spermathecae of Ph. riouxi (TAT186 and TAT24). All photographs are set on the same scale.

In the text

Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.

Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.

Initial download of the metrics may take a while.