The Anopheles hyrcanus group, which includes 25 species, is widely distributed in the Oriental and Palaearctic regions. Given the difficulty in identifying cryptic or sibling species based on their morphological characteristics, molecular identification is regarded as an important complementary approach to traditional morphological taxonomy. The aim of this study was to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Hyrcanus group using DNA barcoding markers in order to determine the phylogenetic correlations of closely related taxa and to compare these markers in terms of identification efficiency and genetic divergence among species.
Anopheles Hyrcanus Group
Plasmodium vivax is transmitted by members of the Anopheles Hyrcanus Group that includes six species in the Republic of Korea: Anopheles sinensis sensu stricto (s.s.), Anopheles pullus, Anopheles kleini, Anopheles belenrae, Anopheles lesteri, and Anopheles sineroides. Individual Anopheles species within the Hyrcanus Group demonstrate differences in their geographical distributions, vector competence and insecticide resistance, making it crucial for accurate species identification. Conventional species identification conducted using individual genotyping (or barcoding) based on species-specific molecular markers requires extensive time commitment and financial resources.