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Molecular Species Delimitation and Morphology of Aquatic and Sub-Aquatic Bugs (Heteroptera) in Cameroon.

Abstract : Aquatic and semi-aquatic bugs (Heteroptera) represent a remarkable diversity and a resurging interest has been given to documenting at the species level these insects inhabiting Cameroon in Central Africa due to their potential implication in the transmission of the bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causal agent of Buruli ulcer, an emerging human disease. A survey was carried out over two years in Cameroon. Morphological analyses were done in two steps. A first step consisted in separating the specimens based on broadly shared characters into morphotypes. The specimens were then separated into two independent batches containing each the same representation of each morphotype. One batch (309 specimens) was used by taxonomy experts on aquatic bugs for species level identification and/or to reconcile nymph with their corresponding adult species. The second batch (188 specimens) was used to define species based on the COI DNA sequences (standard sequence used for "DNA barcoding") and using the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) method. The first morphological analysis step separated the specimens into 63 different morphotypes (49 adults and 14 nymphs), which were then found to belong to 54 morphological species in the infra-orders Gerromorpha and Nepomorpha based on the species-level morphological identification, and 41-45 putative molecular species according to the gap value retained in the ABGD. Integrating morphology and "DNA barcoding" reconciled all the specimens into 62 aquatic bug species in Cameroon. Generally, we obtained a good congruence between species a priori identified based on morphology from adult morphotypes and molecular putative species. Moreover, molecular identification has allowed the association of 86% of nymphs with adults. This work illustrates the importance of integrative taxonomy.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 20, 2016 - 10:23:58 AM
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Solange Meyin A Ebong, Elsa Petit, Philippe Le Gall, Ping-Ping Chen, Nico Nieser, et al.. Molecular Species Delimitation and Morphology of Aquatic and Sub-Aquatic Bugs (Heteroptera) in Cameroon.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 11 (5), pp.e0154905. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0154905⟩. ⟨inserm-01333894⟩



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