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June 13, 2014

01:02

Lobsters are a ubiquitous and economically important group of decapod crustaceans that include the infraorders Polychelida, Glypheidea, Astacidea and Achelata. They include familiar forms such as the spiny, slipper, clawed lobsters and crayfish and unfamiliar forms such as the deep-sea and "living fossil" species. The high degree of morphological diversity among these infraorders has led to a dynamic classification and conflicting hypotheses of evolutionary relationships. In this study, we estimated phylogenetic relationships among the major groups of all lobster families and 94% of the genera using six genes (mitochondrial and nuclear) and 195 morphological characters across 173 species of lobsters for the most comprehensive sampling to date. Lobsters were recovered as a non-monophyletic assemblage in the combined (molecular + morphology) analysis. All families were monophyletic, with the exception of Cambaridae, and 7 of 79 genera were recovered as poly- or paraphyletic. A rich fossil history coupled with dense taxon coverage allowed us to estimate and compare divergence times and origins of major lineages using two drastically different approaches. Age priors were constructed and/or included based on fossil age information or fossil discovery, age, and extant species count data. Results from the two approaches were largely congruent across deep to shallow taxonomic divergences across major lineages. The origin of the first lobster-like decapod (Polychelida) was estimated in the Devonian (~409–372 Ma) with all infraorders present in the Carboniferous (~353–318 Ma). Fossil calibration subsampling studies examined the influence of sampling density (number of fossils) and placement (deep, middle, and shallow) on divergence time estimates. Results from our study suggest including at least 1 fossil per 10 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in divergence dating analyses. [Dating; decapods; divergence; lobsters; molecular; morphology; phylogenetics.]

01:02

Competition is often thought to promote ecological diversification and thereby to facilitate the coexistence of competitors during evolutionary radiations. At large spatial scales, species may also coexist by having allopatric distributions, which raises the question about the role of range expansion in the proliferation of species during radiations. Here, we integrate a well-sampled (50 out of 74 species) and timed phylogeny of Nanos and Apotolamprus dung beetles (Canthonini) in Madagascar with data on species' geographical ranges, abundances, and body sizes. There is an overall decline in lineage accumulation through time since the colonization of northern Madagascar in the mid Miocene (24–13 Ma). A clade of 24 extant Nanos species (clade L) originating 6.0 Ma exhibits an increase in speciation rate, which is associated with a significant increase in body size and strikingly allopatric distributions of the species. Large body size typically confers a competitive advantage in dung beetles, which is here reflected by strong numerical dominance of clade L species in local communities. We suggest that the "key innovation" of large body size has allowed range expansion due to competitive release, which has created extensive opportunities for allopatric speciation and differentiation along environmental gradients. Most theories to explain diversification patterns in Madagascar rely on allopatric modes of speciation, but they fail to explain how ancestral species became widespread in the first place. The mechanism proposed here, involving range expansion following competitive release via a "key innovation", may have operated in other Malagasy taxa with large numbers of species with small geographic ranges. [biodiversity hotspot; competition; Madagascar; microendemism; radiation.]

01:02

Molecular phylogenetic and phylogeographic reconstructions generally assume time-homogeneous substitution processes. Motivated by computational convenience, this assumption sacrifices biological realism and offers little opportunity to uncover the temporal dynamics in evolutionary histories. Here, we propose an evolutionary approach that explicitly relaxes the time-homogeneity assumption by allowing the specification of different infinitesimal substitution rate matrices across different time intervals, called epochs, along the evolutionary history. We focus on an epoch model implementation in a Bayesian inference framework that offers great modeling flexibility in drawing inference about any discrete data type characterized as a continuous-time Markov chain, including phylogeographic traits. To alleviate the computational burden that the additional temporal heterogeneity imposes, we adopt a massively parallel approach that achieves both fine- and coarse-grain parallelization of the computations across branches that accommodate epoch transitions, making extensive use of graphics processing units. Through synthetic examples, we assess model performance in recovering evolutionary parameters from data generated according to different evolutionary scenarios that comprise different numbers of epochs for both nucleotide and codon substitution processes. We illustrate the usefulness of our inference framework in two different applications to empirical data sets: the selection dynamics on within-host HIV populations throughout infection and the seasonality of global influenza circulation. In both cases, our epoch model captures key features of temporal heterogeneity that remained difficult to test using ad hoc procedures. [Bayesian inference; BEAGLE; BEAST; Epoch Model; phylogeography; Phylogenetics.]

01:02

Species designations are critically important scientific hypotheses that serve as the foundational units in a wide range of biological subdisciplines. A growing realization that some classes of data fail to delimit species under certain conditions has led to increasingly more integrative taxonomies, whereby species discovery and hypothesis testing are based on multiple kinds of data (e.g., morphological, molecular, behavioral, ecological, etc.). However, although most taxonomic descriptions have been based on morphology, some key morphological features, such as color, are rarely quantified and incorporated into integrative taxonomic studies. In this article, we applied a new method of ultraviolet digital photography to measure plumage variation in a color-variable avian species complex, the varied tit (Sittiparus varius). Plumage measurements corroborated species limits defined by morphometric, mitochondrial DNA, and nuclear DNA disjunctions and provided the only evidence for distinguishing two recently evolved species. Importantly, color quantification also provided a justification for lumping putative taxa with no evidence of evolutionary independence. Our revised taxonomy thus refines conservation units for listing and management and clarifies the primary units for evolutionary studies. Species tree analyses, which applied the newly delimited species as operational taxonomic units, revealed a robust phylogenetic hypothesis for the group that establishes a foundation for future biogeographic analyses. This study demonstrates how digital photography can be used to incorporate color character variation into integrative taxonomies, which should lead to more informed, more rigorous, and more accurate assessments of biodiversity. [Color, digital photography, integrative taxonomy, Sittiparus varius, species delimitation, varied tit.]

01:02

Several recent estimates of global biodiversity have concluded that the total number of species on Earth lies near the lower end of the wide range touted in previous decades. However, none of these recent estimates formally explore the real "elephant in the room", namely, what proportion of species are taxonomically invisible to conventional assessments, and thus, as undiagnosed cryptic species, remain uncountable until revealed by multi-gene molecular assessments. Here we explore the significance and extent of so-called "hyper-cryptic" species complexes, using the Australian freshwater fish Galaxias olidus as a proxy for any organism whose taxonomy ought to be largely finalized when compared to those in little-studied or morphologically undifferentiated groups. Our comprehensive allozyme (838 fish for 54 putative loci), mtDNA (557 fish for 605 bp of cytb), and morphological (1963–3389 vouchers for 17–58 characters) assessment of this species across its broad geographic range revealed a 1500% increase in species-level biodiversity, and suggested that additional taxa may remain undiscovered. Importantly, while all 15 candidate species were morphologically diagnosable a posteriori from one another, single-gene DNA barcoding proved largely unsuccessful as an a priori method for species identification. These results lead us to draw two strong inferences of relevance to estimates of global biodiversity. First, hyper-cryptic complexes are likely to be common in many organismal groups. Second, no assessment of species numbers can be considered "best practice" in the molecular age unless it explicitly includes estimates of the extent of cryptic and hyper-cryptic biodiversity. [Galaxiidae; global estimates; hyper-diverse; mountain galaxias; species counts; species richness.]

01:02

The multispecies coalescent has provided important progress for evolutionary inferences, including increasing the statistical rigor and objectivity of comparisons among competing species delimitation models. However, Bayesian species delimitation methods typically require brute force integration over gene trees via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), which introduces a large computation burden and precludes their application to genomic-scale data. Here we combine a recently introduced dynamic programming algorithm for estimating species trees that bypasses MCMC integration over gene trees with sophisticated methods for estimating marginal likelihoods, needed for Bayesian model selection, to provide a rigorous and computationally tractable technique for genome-wide species delimitation. We provide a critical yet simple correction that brings the likelihoods of different species trees, and more importantly their corresponding marginal likelihoods, to the same common denominator, which enables direct and accurate comparisons of competing species delimitation models using Bayes factors. We test this approach, which we call Bayes factor delimitation (*with genomic data; BFD*), using common species delimitation scenarios with computer simulations. Varying the numbers of loci and the number of samples suggest that the approach can distinguish the true model even with few loci and limited samples per species. Misspecification of the prior for population size has little impact on support for the true model. We apply the approach to West African forest geckos (Hemidactylus fasciatus complex) using genome-wide SNP data. This new Bayesian method for species delimitation builds on a growing trend for objective species delimitation methods with explicit model assumptions that are easily tested. [Bayes factor; model testing; phylogeography; RADseq; simulation; speciation.]

01:02

The ribosomal RNA encapsulates a wealth of evolutionary information, including genetic variation that can be used to discriminate between organisms at a wide range of taxonomic levels. For example, the prokaryotic 16S rDNA sequence is very widely used both in phylogenetic studies and as a marker in metagenomic surveys and the internal transcribed spacer region, frequently used in plant phylogenetics, is now recognized as a fungal DNA barcode. However, this widespread use does not escape criticism, principally due to issues such as difficulties in classification of paralogous versus orthologous rDNA units and intragenomic variation, both of which may be significant barriers to accurate phylogenetic inference. We recently analyzed data sets from the Saccharomyces Genome Resequencing Project, characterizing rDNA sequence variation within multiple strains of the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its nearest wild relative Saccharomyces paradoxus in unprecedented detail. Notably, both species possess single locus rDNA systems. Here, we use these new variation datasets to assess whether a more detailed characterization of the rDNA locus can alleviate the second of these phylogenetic issues, sequence heterogeneity, while controlling for the first. We demonstrate that a strong phylogenetic signal exists within both datasets and illustrate how they can be used, with existing methodology, to estimate intraspecies phylogenies of yeast strains consistent with those derived from whole-genome approaches. We also describe the use of partial Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, a type of sequence variation found only in repetitive genomic regions, in identifying key evolutionary features such as genome hybridization events and show their consistency with whole-genome Structure analyses. We conclude that our approach can transform rDNA sequence heterogeneity from a problem to a useful source of evolutionary information, enabling the estimation of highly accurate phylogenies of closely related organisms, and discuss how it could be extended to future studies of multilocus rDNA systems. [concerted evolution; genome hydridisation; phylogenetic analysis; ribosomal DNA; whole genome sequencing; yeast]

01:02

Bayesian methods provide a powerful way to estimate species divergence times by combining information from molecular sequences with information from the fossil record. With the explosive increase of genomic data, divergence time estimation increasingly uses data of multiple loci (genes or site partitions). Widely used computer programs to estimate divergence times use independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) priors on the substitution rates for different loci. The i.i.d. prior is problematic. As the number of loci (L) increases, the prior variance of the average rate across all loci goes to zero at the rate 1/L. As a consequence, the rate prior dominates posterior time estimates when many loci are analyzed, and if the rate prior is misspecified, the estimated divergence times will converge to wrong values with very narrow credibility intervals. Here we develop a new prior on the locus rates based on the Dirichlet distribution that corrects the problematic behavior of the i.i.d. prior. We use computer simulation and real data analysis to highlight the differences between the old and new priors. For a dataset for six primate species, we show that with the old i.i.d. prior, if the prior rate is too high (or too low), the estimated divergence times are too young (or too old), outside the bounds imposed by the fossil calibrations. In contrast, with the new Dirichlet prior, posterior time estimates are insensitive to the rate prior and are compatible with the fossil calibrations. We re-analyzed a phylogenomic data set of 36 mammal species and show that using many fossil calibrations can alleviate the adverse impact of a misspecified rate prior to some extent. We recommend the use of the new Dirichlet prior in Bayesian divergence time estimation. [Bayesian inference, divergence time, relaxed clock, rate prior, partition analysis.]

01:02

Supertree methods reconcile a set of phylogenetic trees into a single structure that is often interpreted as a branching history of species. A key challenge is combining conflicting evolutionary histories that are due to artifacts of phylogenetic reconstruction and phenomena such as lateral gene transfer (LGT). Many supertree approaches use optimality criteria that do not reflect underlying processes, have known biases, and may be unduly influenced by LGT. We present the first method to construct supertrees by using the subtree prune-and-regraft (SPR) distance as an optimality criterion. Although calculating the rooted SPR distance between a pair of trees is NP-hard, our new maximum agreement forest-based methods can reconcile trees with hundreds of taxa and > 50 transfers in fractions of a second, which enables repeated calculations during the course of an iterative search. Our approach can accommodate trees in which uncertain relationships have been collapsed to multifurcating nodes. Using a series of benchmark datasets simulated under plausible rates of LGT, we show that SPR supertrees are more similar to correct species histories than supertrees based on parsimony or Robinson–Foulds distance criteria. We successfully constructed an SPR supertree from a phylogenomic dataset of 40,631 gene trees that covered 244 genomes representing several major bacterial phyla. Our SPR-based approach also allowed direct inference of highways of gene transfer between bacterial classes and genera. A Small number of these highways connect genera in different phyla and can highlight specific genes implicated in long-distance LGT. [Lateral gene transfer; matrix representation with parsimony; phylogenomics; prokaryotic phylogeny; Robinson–Foulds; subtree prune-and-regraft; supertrees.]

01:02

Morphological characters are indispensable in phylogenetic analyses for understanding the pattern, process, and tempo of evolution. If characters are independent and free of systematic errors, then combining as many different kinds of characters as are available will result in the best-supported phylogenetic hypotheses. But since morphological characters are subject to natural selection for function and arise from the expression of developmental pathways, they may not be independent, a situation that may amplify any underlying homoplasy. Here, we use new dental and multi-locus genetic data from bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) to quantify saturation and similarity in morphological characters and introduce two likelihood-based approaches to identify strongly conflicting characters and integrate morphological and molecular data. We implement these methods to analyze the phylogeny of incomplete Miocene fossils in the radiation of Phyllostomidae (New World Leaf-nosed Bats), perhaps the most ecologically diverse family of living mammals. Morphological characters produced trees incongruent with molecular phylogenies, were saturated, and showed rates of change higher than most molecular substitution rates. Dental characters encoded variation similar to that in other morphological characters, while molecular characters encoded highly dissimilar variation in comparison. Saturation and high rates of change indicate randomization of phylogenetic signal in the morphological data, and extensive similarity suggests characters are non-independent and errors are amplified. To integrate the morphological data into tree building while accounting for homoplasy, we used statistical molecular scaffolds and combined phylogenetic analyses excluding a small subset of strongly conflicting dental characters. The phylogenies revealed the Miocene nectar-feeding Palynephyllum nests within the crown nectar-feeding South American subfamily Lonchophyllinae, while the Miocene genus Notonycteris is sister to the extant carnivorous Vampyrum. These relationships imply new calibration points for timing of radiation of the ecologically diverse Phyllostomidae. [Chiroptera; conflict; dentition; morphology; Phyllostomidae; saturation; scaffold; systematic error.]

01:02

Comparing species richness in sister clades that differ in a character state is one of the ways to study factors influencing diversification. While most of its applications have focussed on traits that increase diversification, some have been used to study the association of a trait with lower species richness, e.g., the occurrence of dioecy in flowering plants. We show here, using simulations and an analytical model, that the null expectation of equal species richness that is generally used in sister clade comparisons is wrong in the case of a derived trait occurring independently from speciation: one should expect fewer species in the clade with the derived character state when there is no difference in diversification rates. This is due to the waiting time for the derived state to appear, which causes it to occur more often on longer branches. This has the important implication that the probability for a clade to possess the derived state depends on the tree geometry, and thus on species richness: species-poorer clades are more likely to possess the derived state. We develop a statistical test for sister clade comparisons to study the effect of a derived character state. Applying it to a data set of dioecious clades, we find that we cannot confirm earlier work that concluded that dioecy decreases diversification; on the contrary, it seems to be associated to higher species richness than expected. [angiosperms; dioecy; diversification; sister clades; species richness.]

01:02

The correlation between species diversification and morphological evolution has long been of interest in evolutionary biology. We investigated the relationship between these processes during the radiation of 250 + scincid lizards that constitute Australia's most species-rich clade of terrestrial vertebrates. We generated a time-calibrated phylogenetic tree for the group that was more than 85% complete at the species level and collected multivariate morphometric data for 183 species. We reconstructed the dynamics of species diversification and trait evolution using a Bayesian statistical framework (BAMM) that simultaneously accounts for variation in evolutionary rates through time and among lineages. We extended the BAMM model to accommodate time-dependent phenotypic evolution, and we describe several new methods for summarizing and visualizing macroevolutionary rate heterogeneity on phylogenetic trees. Two major clades (Lerista, Ctenotus; > 90 spp. each) are associated with high rates of species diversification relative to the background rate across Australian sphenomorphine skinks. The Lerista clade is characterized by relatively high lability of body form and has undergone repeated instances of limb reduction, but Ctenotus is characterized by an extreme deceleration in the rate of body shape evolution. We estimate that rates of phenotypic evolution decreased by more than an order of magnitude in the common ancestor of the Ctenotus clade. These results provide evidence for a modal shift in phenotypic evolutionary dynamics and demonstrate that major axes of morphological variation can be decoupled from species diversification. More generally, the Bayesian framework described here can be used to identify and characterize complex mixtures of dynamic processes on phylogenetic trees. [Bayesian; diversification; evolvability; lizard; macroevolution, punctuated equilibrium, speciation.]