Background: Clarifying the role of the innate immune system of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae is a potential way to block the development of the Plasmodium parasites. Pathogen recognition is the first step of innate immune response, where pattern recognition proteins like GNBPs play a central role. Results: We analysed 70 sequences of the protein coding gene GNBPB2 from two species, Anopheles gambiae (s.s.) and An. coluzzii, collected in six African countries. We detected 135 segregating sites defining 63 distinct haplotypes and 30 proteins. Mean nucleotide diversity (π) was 0.014 for both species. We found no significant genetic differentiation between species, but a significant positive correlation between genetic differentiation and geographical distance among populations. Conclusions: Species status seems to contribute less for the molecular differentiation in GNBPB2 than geographical region in the African continent (West and East). Purifying selection was found to be the most common form of selection, as in many other immunity-related genes. Diversifying selection may be also operating in the GNBPB2 gene.
- Anopheles coluzzii
- Anopheles gambiae
- Glucan binding protein gene
- Gram-negative binding protein gene
- Innate immune system