Patterns of Variation in the Rdna Cistron within and among World Populations of a Mosquito, Aedes Albopictus (Skuse)


A restriction map was constructed of the ribosomal cistron in a mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse). The 18s, 28s and nontranscribed spacer (NTS) regions were subcloned and used to probe for intraspecific variation. Seventeen populations were examined throughout the world range of the species. No variation was detected in the coding regions but extensive and continuous variation existed in the NTS. The NTS consisted of two nonhomologous regions. The first region contained multiple 190-bp AluI repeats nested within larger XhoI repeats of various sizes. There was a large number of length variants in the AluI repeat region of the NTS. No repeats were found in the second region and it gave rise to relatively fewer variants. An analysis of NTS diversity in individual mosquitoes indicated that most of the diversity arose at the population level. Discriminant analysis was performed on spacer types in individual mosquitoes and demonstrated that individuals within a population carried a unique set of spacers. In contrast with studies of the NTS in Drosophila populations, there seems to be little conservation of spacers in a population. The importance of molecular drive relative to drift and selection in the generation of local population differentiation is discussed.

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