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  1. Dutra, Walderez O. (Ed.)
    More than 100 years since the first description of Chagas Disease and with over 29,000 new cases annually due to vector transmission (in 2010), American Trypanosomiasis remains a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). This study presents the most comprehensive Trypanosoma cruzi sampling in terms of geographic locations and triatomine species analyzed to date and includes both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. This addresses the gap of information from North and Central America. We incorporate new and previously published DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, Cytochrome oxidase II (COII) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1). These T . cruzi samples were collected over a broad geographic range including 111 parasite DNA samples extracted from triatomines newly collected across North and Central America, all of which were infected with T . cruzi in their natural environment. In addition, we present parasite reduced representation (Restriction site Associated DNA markers, RAD-tag) genomic nuclear data combined with the mitochondrial gene sequences for a subset of the triatomines (27 specimens) collected from Guatemala and El Salvador. Our mitochondrial phylogenetic reconstruction revealed two of the major mitochondrial lineages circulating across North and Central America, as well as the first ever mitochondrial data for TcBat from a triatomine collectedmore »in Central America. Our data also show that within mtTcIII, North and Central America represent an independent, distinct clade from South America, named here as mtTcIII NA-CA , geographically restricted to North and Central America. Lastly, the most frequent lineage detected across North and Central America, mtTcI, was also an independent, distinct clade from South America, noted as mtTcI NA-CA . Furthermore, nuclear genome data based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) showed genetic structure of lineage TcI from specimens collected in Guatemala and El Salvador supporting the hypothesis that genetic diversity at a local scale has a geographical component. Our multiscale analysis contributes to the understanding of the independent and distinct evolution of T . cruzi lineages in North and Central America regions.« less
  2. Oliveira, Pedro L. (Ed.)
    Scientific collections such as the U.S. National Museum (USNM) are critical to filling knowledge gaps in molecular systematics studies. The global taxonomic impediment has resulted in a reduction of expert taxonomists generating new collections of rare or understudied taxa and these large historic collections may be the only reliable source of material for some taxa. Integrated systematics studies using both morphological examinations and DNA sequencing are often required for resolving many taxonomic issues but as DNA methods often require partial or complete destruction of a sample, there are many factors to consider before implementing destructive sampling of specimens within scientific collections. We present a methodology for the use of archive specimens that includes two crucial phases: 1) thoroughly documenting specimens destined for destructive sampling—a process called electronic vouchering, and 2) the pipeline used for whole genome sequencing of archived specimens, from extraction of genomic DNA to assembly of putative genomes with basic annotation. The process is presented for eleven specimens from two different insect subfamilies of medical importance to humans: Anophelinae (Diptera: Culicidae)—mosquitoes and Triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)—kissing bugs. Assembly of whole mitochondrial genome sequences of all 11 specimens along with the results of an ortholog search and BLAST against themore »NCBI nucleotide database are also presented.« less