Salivary heme proteins distinguish Rhodnius prolixus from Rhodnius robustus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae)

Soares RPP, Gontijo NF, Romanha AJ, Diotaiuti L, Pereira MH. 

Rhodnius prolixus interpopulations variability was studied based o a new approach using salivary heme proteins (nitrophorins) electrophoresis in starch gel. We compared salivary proteins profiles of R. prolixus from three different laboratory colonies from Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil and Rhodnius robustus from Venezuela, constructing a UPGMA. The Honduran and Venezuelan populations could be not distinguished from each other, but the Brazilian population was well separated from the others. The high similarity between Honduran and Venezuelan specimens lends support to current theories that the Central American populations of R. prolixus may have been introdiuced from a Venezuelan origin. The low polymorphism shown by the Honduran specimens is in a agreement with a possible founder effect. This new approach alsop distinguished R. prolixus populations from R. robustus, species with extreme phenotypical similarity.