Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are soluble dimeric proteins that are involved in the metabolism, detoxification, and excretion of a large number of endogenous and exogenous compounds such as insecticides from the cell. In the current study, field specimens of Anopheles stephensi Liston, Anopheles fluviatilis James, and Anopheles culicifacies Giles collected from Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran and subjected to World Health Organization susceptibility test. Only An. stephensi was resistant to 4% DDT. DNA extraction and rDNA-ITS2-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for correct species identification, followed by amplification of GSTe2 gene, including exon I and II and full sequence of intron I, identified a 500-bp fragment in these three species. These fragments were purified and sequenced from both ends. The comparison of coding sequence of GSTe2 gene between these species and with Anopheles gambiae Giles showed 82 to 86% similarity at nucleic acid levels and identified nucleotide polymorphisms within An. culicifacies and An. stephensi populations. Species-specific differences have been detected in intron I of GSTe2 gene. This is in concordance with the previous studies and confirmed the conserved nature of intron sequence in GSTe2 gene of each species, probably useful as a molecular marker for species-specific identification. Phylogenetic analysis based on rDNA-ITS2, and coding (exon I and II) and noncoding sequences of GSTe2, showed the systematic relatedness between Iranian malaria vectors and the possibility of using these sequences in both differentiation of Anopheles species and defining their evolutionary relationship with the only available GSTe2 sequence of An. gambiae. These data may be useful for implementation and evaluation of malaria control programs in aspects of population genetics and molecular resistance.
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Vol. 43 • No. 6