Wiley Online Library : Cladistics


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March 20, 2015

The Rhinella granulosa group consists of 13 species of toads distributed throughout open areas of South America and Panama. In this paper we perform a phylogenetic analysis considering all but one species of the group, employing five nuclear and four mitochondrial genes, for up to 7910 bp per specimen. Separate phylogenetic analyses under direct optimization (DO) of nuclear and mitochondrial sequences recovered the R. granulosa group as monophyletic and revealed topological incongruence that can be explained mainly by multiple events of hybridization and introgression, both mitochondrial and nuclear. The DO combined analysis, after the exclusion of putatively introgressed or heterozygous genomes, resulted in a phylogenetic hypothesis for the R. granulosa group in which most of the species are recovered as monophyletic, but with interspecific relationships poorly supported. The optimization of morphological (adult and larval), chromosomal, and behavioural characters resulted in 12 putative phenotypic synapomorphies for this species group and some other synapomorphies for internal clades. Our results indicate the need for additional population genetic studies on R. dorbignyi and R. fernandezae to corroborate the taxonomic status of both taxa. Finally, we discuss biological and genetic characteristics of Bufonidae, as possible explanations for the common occurrence of hybridization and introgression observed in some lineages of this family.

March 19, 2015

Despite considerable progress in unravelling the phylogenetic relationships of microhylid frogs, relationships among subfamilies remain largely unstable and many genera are not demonstrably monophyletic. Here, we used five alternative combinations of DNA sequence data (ranging from seven loci for 48 taxa to up to 73 loci for as many as 142 taxa) generated using the anchored phylogenomics sequencing method (66 loci, derived from conserved genome regions, for 48 taxa) and Sanger sequencing (seven loci for up to 142 taxa) to tackle this problem. We assess the effects of character sampling, taxon sampling, analytical methods and assumptions in phylogenetic inference of microhylid frogs. The phylogeny of microhylids shows high susceptibility to different analytical methods and datasets used for the analyses. Clades inferred from maximum-likelihood are generally more stable across datasets than those inferred from parsimony. Parsimony trees inferred within a tree-alignment framework are generally better resolved and better supported than those inferred within a similarity-alignment framework, even under the same cost matrix (equally weighted) and same treatment of gaps (as a fifth nucleotide state). We discuss potential causes for these differences in resolution and clade stability among discovery operations. We also highlight the problem that commonly used algorithms for model-based analyses do not explicitly model insertion and deletion events (i.e. gaps are treated as missing data). Our results corroborate the monophyly of Microhylidae and most currently recognized subfamilies but fail to provide support for relationships among subfamilies. Several taxonomic updates are provided, including naming of two new subfamilies, both monotypic.

March 10, 2015

Impatiens L. is one of the largest angiosperm genera, containing over 1000 species, and is notorious for its taxonomic difficulty. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the genus to date based on a total evidence approach. Forty-six morphological characters, mainly obtained from our own investigations, are combined with sequence data from three genetic regions, including nuclear ribosomal ITS and plastid atpB-rbcL and trnL-F. We include 150 Impatiens species representing all clades recovered by previous phylogenetic analyses as well as three outgroups. Maximum-parsimony and Bayesian inference methods were used to infer phylogenetic relationships. Our analyses concur with previous studies, but in most cases provide stronger support. Impatiens splits into two major clades. For the first time, we report that species with three-colpate pollen and four carpels form a monophyletic group (clade I). Within clade II, seven well-supported subclades are recognized. Within this phylogenetic framework, character evolution is reconstructed, and diagnostic morphological characters for different clades and subclades are identified and discussed. Based on both morphological and molecular evidence, a new classification outline is presented, in which Impatiens is divided into two subgenera, subgen. Clavicarpa and subgen. Impatiens; the latter is further subdivided into seven sections.
kSNP v2 is a powerful tool for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identification from complete microbial genomes and for estimating phylogenetic trees from the identified SNPs. kSNP can analyse finished genomes, genome assemblies, raw reads or any combination of those and does not require either genome alignment or reference genomes. This study uses sequence evolution simulations to evaluate the topological accuracy of kSNP trees and to assess the effects of diversity and recombination on that accuracy. The accuracies of kSNP trees are strongly affected by increasing diversity, with parsimony accuracy > maximum-likelihood accuracy > neighbour-joining accuracy. Accuracy is also strongly influenced by recombination; as recombination increases accuracy decreases. Reliable trees are arbitrarily defined as those that have ≥ 90% topological accuracy. It is determined that the best predictor of topological accuracy is the ratio of r/m, a measure of the effect of recombination, to FCK (the fraction of core kmers), a measure of diversity. Tools are available to allow investigators to determine both r/m and FCK, and the relationship between topological accuracy and the ratio of r/m to FCK is determined. The practical implication of this study is that kSNP is an effective tool for estimating phylogenetic trees from microbial genome sequences provided that both recombination and sequence diversity are within acceptable ranges.

March 9, 2015

Orthoptera is the most diverse order among the polyneopteran groups and includes familiar insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and their kin. Due to a long history of conflicting classification schemes based on different interpretations of morphological characters, the phylogenetic relationships within Orthoptera are poorly understood and its higher classification has remained unstable. In this study, we establish a robust phylogeny of Orthoptera including 36 of 40 families representing all 15 currently recognized superfamilies and based on complete mitochondrial genomes and four nuclear loci, in order to test previous phylogenetic hypotheses and to provide a framework for a natural classification and a reference for studying the pattern of divergence and diversification. We find strong support for monophyletic suborders (Ensifera and Caelifera) as well as major superfamilies. Our results corroborate most of the higher-level relationships previously proposed for Caelifera, but suggest some novel relationships for Ensifera. Using fossil calibrations, we provide divergence time estimates for major orthopteran lineages and show that the current diversity has been shaped by dynamic shifts of diversification rates at different geological times across different lineages. We also show that mitochondrial tRNA gene orders have been relatively stable throughout the evolutionary history of Orthoptera, but a major tRNA gene rearrangement occurred in the common ancestor of Tetrigoidea and Acridomorpha, thereby representing a robust molecular synapomorphy, which has persisted for 250 Myr.

March 8, 2015

Several of the biggest challenges in taxonomy and systematics are related to a toxic mixture of small size, abundance, and rarity. There are too many species in groups with too few taxonomists and many of these species are very rare and hard to find because they are hidden in mass samples. To make matters worse, these species often have life-history stages that are morphologically so different that it is difficult to identify them as semaphoronts of the same species. We demonstrate that these biodiversity challenges can be addressed with cost-effective molecular markers. Here, we describe a next-generation-sequencing protocol that can yield barcodes at a chemical cost of

February 11, 2015

Previous phylogenetic analyses of the tribe Phyllotini, one of the largest components of the subfamily Sigmodontinae, have been based on a single source of evidence. In particular, morphological analyses were largely based on craniodental data, almost neglecting the potential phylogenetic information present in the postcranium. Despite the significant advances made in relation to the knowledge of phyllotine phylogeny in recent times, there are several unsolved issues that highlight the importance of a phylogenetic analysis that integrates multiple sources of evidence, including previously considered sources as well as new sources of data. We present here the first combined phylogenetic analysis (morphological and molecular) of phyllotines, which includes the widest taxon and character sampling to date. Our dataset includes 164 morphological characters, of which 83 are postcranial characters, plus 3561 molecular characters, scored for 52 species from 34 genera of Oryzomyalia. In this study 75 postcranial characters not previously considered in this group are thoroughly described, and their utility for solving the relationships within Phyllotini is evaluated by means of different complementary analyses. Phyllotini was retrieved as a monophyletic clade in the combined analysis, with a composition that matches that obtained in most other recent analyses. All genera of phyllotines were monophyletic and show high support values. Abrotrichini, Akodontini and Oryzomyini were also monophyletic. The inclusion of postcranial data appears to be of limited utility to solve the phylogenetic relationships within Phyllotini.

February 1, 2015

To understand the evolutionary history of Lymantriinae and test the present higher-level classification, we performed the first broad-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the subfamily, based on 154 exemplars representing all recognized tribes and drawn from all major biogeographical regions. We used two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and 16S ribosomal RNA) and six nuclear genes (elongation factor-1α, carbamoylphosphate synthase domain protein, ribosomal protein S5, cytosolic malate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and wingless). Data matrices (in total 5424 bp) were analysed by parsimony and model-based evolutionary methods (maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference). Based on the results of the analyses, we present a new phylogenetic classification for Lymantriinae composed of seven well-supported tribes, two of which are proposed here as new: Arctornithini, Leucomini, Lymantriini, Orgyiini, Nygmiini, Daplasini trib. nov. and Locharnini trib. nov. We discuss the internal structure of each of these tribes and address some of the more complex problems with the genus-level classification, particularly within Orgyiini and Nygmiini.

January 29, 2015

This paper examines a recent proposal to calculate supertrees by minimizing the sum of subtree prune-and-regraft distances to the input trees. The supertrees thus calculated may display groups present in a minority of the input trees but contradicted by the majority, or groups that are not supported by any input tree or combination of input trees. The proponents of the method themselves stated that these are serious problems of “matrix representation with parsimony”, but they can in fact occur in their own method. The majority rule supertrees, being explicitly clade-based, cannot have these problems, and seem much more suited to retrieving common clades from a set of trees with different taxon sets. However, it is dubious that so-called majority rule supertrees can always be interpreted as displaying those clades present (or compatible with) with a majority of the trees. The majority rule consensus is always a median tree, in terms of the Robinson–Foulds distances (i.e. it minimizes the sum of Robinson–Foulds distances to the input trees). In contrast, majority rule supertrees may not be median—different, contradictory trees may minimize Robinson–Foulds distances, while their strict consensus does not. If being “majority” results from being median in Robinson–Foulds distances, this means that in the supertree setting a “majority” is ambiguously defined, sometimes achievable only by mutually contradictory trees.

January 26, 2015

Quantitative analyses of areas of endemism have rarely considered higher taxa. This paper discusses aspects related to the use of higher taxa in the analysis of areas of endemism, and computer implementations. An example of the application of the method is provided, with a data set for Nearctic mammals, showing that some of the areas recognized by species-level taxa also adjust well to the distribution of other taxa of higher level (genera, monophyletic groups).

January 20, 2015

Viruses of influenza A subtype H7 can be highly pathogenic and periodically infect humans. For example, there have been numerous outbreaks of H7 in the Americas and Europe since 1996. More recently, a reassortant H7N9 has emerged among humans and birds during 2013–2014 in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This H7N9 genome consists of genetic segments that assort with H7 and H9 viruses previously circulating in chickens and wild birds in China and ducks in Korea. Epidemic risk modellers have used agricultural, climatic and demographic data to predict that the virus will spread to northern Vietnam via poultry. To shed light on the traffic of H7 viruses in general, we examine genetic segments of influenza that have assorted with many strains of H7 viruses dating back to 1902. We focus on use cases from the United States, Italy and China. We apply a novel metric, betweenness, an associated phylogenetic visualization technique, transmission networks, and compare these with another technique, route mapping. In contrast to traditional views, our results illustrate that segments that assort with H7 viruses are spread frequently between the Americas and Eurasia. In summary, genetic segments that historically assort with H7 influenza viruses have been spread from China to: Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mongolia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the US, and Vietnam.

January 12, 2015

The taxonomic rank and phylogenetic relationships of the pipizine flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae: Pipizini) were estimated based on DNA sequence data from three gene regions (COI, 28S and 18S) and 111 adult morphological characters. Pipizini has been treated as a member of the subfamily Eristalinae based on diagnostic adult morphological characteristics, while the larval feeding mode and morphology is shared with members of the subfamily Syrphinae. We analysed each dataset, both separately and combined, in a total evidence approach under maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood. To evaluate the influence of different alignment strategies of rDNA 28S and 18S genes on the resulting topologies, we compared the topologies inferred from a multiple alignment using fast Fourier transform (MAFFT) program with those topologies resulting from aligning the secondary structure of these rDNA genes. Total evidence analyses resolved pipizines as a sister group of the subfamily Syrphinae. Although the structural alignment and the MAFFT alignment differed in the inferred relationships of some clades and taxa, there was congruence in the placement of pipizines. The homogeneous morphology of the Pipizini clade in combination with their unique combination of characters among the Syrphidae suggest a change of rank to subfamily. Thus, we propose to divide Syrphidae into four subfamilies, including the subfamily Pipizinae stat. rev.

January 9, 2015

A phylogeny of the lacewing family Nymphidae based on morphology and DNA sequences is presented including representatives of all living genera and selected fossil genera. Widely distributed Jurassic and Cretaceous genera gave rise to recent taxa now restricted to Australasia. Two previously defined clades (i.e. Nymphinae and Myiodactylinae) were recovered and reflect the diverging adult and larval morphology of members of these two subfamilies. From Chinese Cretaceous deposits, a new genus (Spilonymphes gen. nov.) is described with one new species, as well as new species described in the genera Baissoleon Makarkin and Sialium Westwood.

January 8, 2015

The marmosets, tribe Callitrichini, are the most speciose clade in the subfamily Callitrichinae, containing 21 species. However, there is no consensus among molecular and morphological systematists as to how many genera should be recognized for the group. To test the morphological support for the alternative generic classifications, this study presents a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis. It is the first such analysis to include all 21 species and employ continuous and discrete osteological, pelage and tegument, karyological and vocal characters. This dataset was combined with nucleotide sequences from two mitochondrial and four nuclear regions. Separate analyses showed that, among morphological datasets, osteological characters were best at solving relationships at more inclusive levels, whilst pelage characters were most informative at the interspecific level. This suggests the presence of different transformation rates for the two character sets. When a single most parsimonious tree was obtained using the 83-character matrix, three main clades were identified, supporting the division of the marmosets into three genera: Callithrix, Cebuella and Mico. The total evidence analysis that included an additional 3481 molecular characters corroborated most of the morphology-based clades and also supported a three-genus classification of the marmosets. This is the first morphological study to support an Amazonian marmoset clade (Cebuella + Mico), which is also strongly supported in exclusively molecular phylogenies, and to synonimize Callibella under Mico.