Anopheles coluzzii is a major malaria vector throughout its distribution in west-central Africa. Here we present a whole-genome study of 142 specimens from nine countries in continental Africa and three islands in the Gulf of Guinea. This sample set covers a large part of this species’ geographic range. Our population genomic analyses included a description of the structure of mainland populations, island populations, and connectivity between them. Three genetic clusters are identified among mainland populations and genetic distances (FST) fits an isolation-by-distance model. Genomic analyses are applied to estimate the demographic history and ancestry for each island. Taken together with the unique biogeography and history of human occupation for each island, they present a coherent explanation underlying levels of genetic isolation between mainland and island populations. We discuss the relationship of our findings to the suitability of São Tomé and Príncipe islands as candidate sites for potential field trials of genetic-based malaria control strategies.
- Anopheles coluzzii
- Island malaria