Population genomics and geographic dispersal in Chagas disease vectors: landscape drivers and evidence of possible adaptation to the domestic setting

Hernandez-Castro, L. E. et al. (2022) Population genomics and geographic dispersal in Chagas disease vectors: landscape drivers and evidence of possible adaptation to the domestic setting. PLoS Genetics, 18(2), e1010019. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1010019) (PMID:35120121) (PMCID:PMC8849464)

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Accurate prediction of vectors dispersal, as well as identification of adaptations that allow blood-feeding vectors to thrive in built environments, are a basis for effective disease control. Here we adopted a landscape genomics approach to assay gene flow, possible local adaptation, and drivers of population structure in Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, an important vector of Chagas disease. We used a reduced-representation sequencing technique (2b-RADseq) to obtain 2,552 SNP markers across 272 R. ecuadoriensis samples from 25 collection sites in southern Ecuador. Evidence of high and directional gene flow between seven wild and domestic population pairs across our study site indicates insecticide-based control will be hindered by repeated re-infestation of houses from the forest. Preliminary genome scans across multiple population pairs revealed shared outlier loci potentially consistent with local adaptation to the domestic setting, which we mapped to genes involved with embryogenesis and saliva production. Landscape genomic models showed elevation is a key barrier to R. ecuadoriensis dispersal. Together our results shed early light on the genomic adaptation in triatomine vectors and facilitate vector control by predicting that spatially-targeted, proactive interventions would be more efficacious than current, reactive approaches.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was possible thanks to the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (conacyt.mx/) doctorate scholarship (CVU Number 613766) awarded to LEHC., the National Institutes of Health (NIH - www.nih.gov/) grant number R15 AI105749-01A1 allocated to MJG who is PI, as well as together with MSL the UKRI (www.ukri.org/councils/) Engagement Network (EP/T003782/1) which supported co-author interactions. Funding was also received from Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (www.puce.edu.ec) to MJG (grant # C13025, E13027, E13037, H13174, I13048). ELL was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH (www.nih.gov), United States (Award Numbers P20GM130418).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bacigalupo Bacigalupo, Antonella Eugenia and Llewellyn, Professor Martin and Matthews, Professor Louise and Cheaib, Dr Bachar
Creator Roles:
Cheaib, B.Formal analysis, Methodology, Resources, Writing – review and editing
Bacigalupo, A.Data curation, Resources, Writing – review and editing
Matthews, L.Methodology, Resources, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Llewellyn, M. S.Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Writing – original draft
Authors: Hernandez-Castro, L. E., Villacís, A. G., Jacobs, A., Cheaib, B., Day, C. C., Ocaña-Mayorga, S., Yumiseva, C. A., Bacigalupo, A., Andersson, B., Matthews, L., Landguth, E. L., Costales, J. A., Llewellyn, M. S., and Grijalva, M. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Genetics
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1553-7404
Published Online:04 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Hernandez-Castro et a.
First Published:First published in PLoS Genetics 18(2): e1010019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilEP/T003782/1