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Genetic Correlation between Melanization and Antibacterial Immune Responses in a Natural Population of the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae

Louis Lambrechts, John M. Vulule and Jacob C. Koella
Evolution
Vol. 58, No. 10 (Oct., 2004), pp. 2377-2381
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3449484
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Genetic Correlation between Melanization and Antibacterial Immune Responses in a Natural Population of the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae
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Abstract

The immune system of invertebrates can mount different responses, including melanotic encapsulation and several antibacterial defense mechanisms. Variation of the efficacies of these responses is generally considered to be a product of the evolutionary pressure on each response due to infection by parasites. However, potential interactions and trade-offs among the different responses of the immune system could constrain the evolutionary potential of each response. In a natural population of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, we measured the genetic association between the melanization response and an antibacterial response in two environmental qualities (well-fed and undernourished larvae). In both environments the two immune responses were positively genetically correlated: in full-sib families that were most likely to melanize a bead, injected bacteria were most likely to be cleared. Thus, our data do not support the idea of a trade-off among different outcomes of the invertebrate immune system, but rather that some families are overall immunologically superior to others.

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