DNA barcoding of mosquitoes collected through a nationwide survey in 2011 and 2012 in Malawi, Southeast Africa

Yoshihide Maekawa*, Dylo Pemba, Justin Kumala, Steve Gowelo, Yukiko Higa, Kyoko Futami, Kyoko Sawabe, Yoshio Tsuda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We conducted a nationwide survey of mosquito distribution in Malawi from November 2011 to April 2012, and from July to September 2012. Using dried specimens of mosquito adults collected during the survey, we analyzed their cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, prepared specimens, and registered the genetic information (658 bp) of 144 individuals belonging to 51 species of 10 genera in GenBank. Using the obtained genetic information, we analyzed the degree of intraspecific variation and investigated the various species from morphological and genetic perspectives. Moreover, we conducted phylogenetic analysis of the medically important species distributed from Africa to Asia and explored their geographical differentiation. Results showed that individuals morphologically classified as Culex univittatus complex included a individual of Cx. perexiguus which, to date, have not been reported in southern Africa. Furthermore, Mansonia uniformis, distributed in Africa and Asia, was revealed to belong to genetically distinct populations, with observed morphological differences of the samples suggesting that they are separate species. The results of genetic analysis further suggested that Cx. ethiopicus is not a synonym of Cx. bitaeniorhynchus, but that it is an independent species; although, in this study, the only definite morphological difference observed was in the shape of the wing scales. Further morphological and genetic investigation of individuals of these species, including larvae, is highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105742
JournalActa Tropica
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • COI
  • GenBank
  • mosquitoes
  • neighbor-joining
  • phylogenetics
  • taxonomy

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