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      A comprehensive molecular phylogeny of Geometridae (Lepidoptera) with a focus on enigmatic small subfamilies

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          Our study aims to investigate the relationships of the major lineages within the moth family Geometridae, with a focus on the poorly studied Oenochrominae-Desmobathrinae complex, and to translate some of the results into a coherent subfamilial and tribal level classification for the family. We analyzed a molecular dataset of 1,206 Geometroidea terminal taxa from all biogeographical regions comprising up to 11 molecular markers that includes one mitochondrial (COI) and 10 protein-coding nuclear gene regions (wingless, ArgK, MDH, RpS5, GAPDH, IDH, Ca-ATPase, Nex9, EF-1alpha, CAD). The molecular data set was analyzed using maximum likelihood as implemented in IQ-TREE and RAxML. We found high support for the subfamilies Larentiinae, Geometrinae and Ennominae in their traditional scopes. Sterrhinae becomes monophyletic only if Ergavia Walker, Ametris Hübner and Macrotes Westwood, which are currently placed in Oenochrominae, are formally transferred to Sterrhinae. Desmobathrinae and Oenochrominae are found to be polyphyletic. The concepts of Oenochrominae and Desmobathrinae required major revision and, after appropriate rearrangements, these groups also form monophyletic subfamily-level entities. Oenochrominae s.str. as originally conceived by Guenée is phylogenetically distant from Epidesmia and its close relatives. The latter is hereby described as the subfamily Epidesmiinae Murillo-Ramos, Sihvonen & Brehm, subfam. nov. Epidesmiinae are a lineage of “slender-bodied Oenochrominae” that include the genera Ecphyas Turner, Systatica Turner, Adeixis Warren, Dichromodes Guenée, Phrixocomes Turner, Abraxaphantes Warren, Epidesmia Duncan & Westwood and Phrataria Walker. Archiearinae are monophyletic when Dirce and Acalyphes are formally transferred to Ennominae. We also found that many tribes were para- or polyphyletic and therefore propose tens of taxonomic changes at the tribe and subfamily levels. Archaeobalbini stat. rev. Viidalepp (Geometrinae) is raised from synonymy with Pseudoterpnini Warren to tribal rank. Chlorodontoperini Murillo-Ramos, Sihvonen & Brehm, trib. nov. and Drepanogynini Murillo-Ramos, Sihvonen & Brehm, trib. nov. are described as new tribes in Geometrinae and Ennominae, respectively.

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          Genomic outposts serve the phylogenomic pioneers: designing novel nuclear markers for genomic DNA extractions of lepidoptera.

          Increasing the number of characters used in phylogenetic studies is the next crucial step towards generating robust and stable phylogenetic hypotheses - i.e., strongly supported and consistent across reconstruction method. Here we describe a genomic approach to finding new protein-coding genes for systematics in nonmodel taxa, which can be PCR amplified from standard, slightly degraded genomic DNA extracts. We test this approach on Lepidoptera, searching the draft genomic sequence of the silk moth Bombyx mori, for exons > 500 bp in length, removing annotated gene families, and compared remaining exons with butterfly EST databases to identify conserved regions for primer design. These primers were tested on a set of 65 taxa primarily in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. We were able to identify and amplify six previously unused gene regions (Arginine Kinase, GAPDH, IDH, MDH, RpS2, and RpS5) and two rarely used gene regions (CAD and DDC) that when added to the three traditional gene regions (COI, EF-1alpha and wingless) gave a data set of 8114 bp. Phylogenetic robustness and stability increased with increasing numbers of genes. Smaller taxanomic subsets were also robust when using the full gene data set. The full 11-gene data set was robust and stable across reconstruction methods, recovering the major lineages and strongly supporting relationships within them. Our methods and insights should be applicable to taxonomic groups having a single genomic reference species and several EST databases from taxa that diverged less than 100 million years ago.
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            A Large-Scale, Higher-Level, Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Insect Order Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)

            Background Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. We present the most comprehensive molecular analysis of lepidopteran phylogeny to date, focusing on relationships among superfamilies. Methodology / Principal Findings 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes, from which maximum likelihood tree estimates and bootstrap percentages were obtained using GARLI. Assessment of heuristic search effectiveness showed that better trees and higher bootstrap percentages probably remain to be discovered even after 1000 or more search replicates, but further search proved impractical even with grid computing. Other analyses explored the effects of sampling nonsynonymous change only versus partitioned and unpartitioned total nucleotide change; deletion of rogue taxa; and compositional heterogeneity. Relationships among the non-ditrysian lineages previously inferred from morphology were largely confirmed, plus some new ones, with strong support. Robust support was also found for divergences among non-apoditrysian lineages of Ditrysia, but only rarely so within Apoditrysia. Paraphyly for Tineoidea is strongly supported by analysis of nonsynonymous-only signal; conflicting, strong support for tineoid monophyly when synonymous signal was added back is shown to result from compositional heterogeneity. Conclusions / Significance Support for among-superfamily relationships outside the Apoditrysia is now generally strong. Comparable support is mostly lacking within Apoditrysia, but dramatically increased bootstrap percentages for some nodes after rogue taxon removal, and concordance with other evidence, strongly suggest that our picture of apoditrysian phylogeny is approximately correct. This study highlights the challenge of finding optimal topologies when analyzing hundreds of taxa. It also shows that some nodes get strong support only when analysis is restricted to nonsynonymous change, while total change is necessary for strong support of others. Thus, multiple types of analyses will be necessary to fully resolve lepidopteran phylogeny.
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              Toward reconstructing the evolution of advanced moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera: Ditrysia): an initial molecular study

              Background In the mega-diverse insect order Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths; 165,000 described species), deeper relationships are little understood within the clade Ditrysia, to which 98% of the species belong. To begin addressing this problem, we tested the ability of five protein-coding nuclear genes (6.7 kb total), and character subsets therein, to resolve relationships among 123 species representing 27 (of 33) superfamilies and 55 (of 100) families of Ditrysia under maximum likelihood analysis. Results Our trees show broad concordance with previous morphological hypotheses of ditrysian phylogeny, although most relationships among superfamilies are weakly supported. There are also notable surprises, such as a consistently closer relationship of Pyraloidea than of butterflies to most Macrolepidoptera. Monophyly is significantly rejected by one or more character sets for the putative clades Macrolepidoptera as currently defined (P < 0.05) and Macrolepidoptera excluding Noctuoidea and Bombycoidea sensu lato (P ≤ 0.005), and nearly so for the superfamily Drepanoidea as currently defined (P < 0.08). Superfamilies are typically recovered or nearly so, but usually without strong support. Relationships within superfamilies and families, however, are often robustly resolved. We provide some of the first strong molecular evidence on deeper splits within Pyraloidea, Tortricoidea, Geometroidea, Noctuoidea and others. Separate analyses of mostly synonymous versus non-synonymous character sets revealed notable differences (though not strong conflict), including a marked influence of compositional heterogeneity on apparent signal in the third codon position (nt3). As available model partitioning methods cannot correct for this variation, we assessed overall phylogeny resolution through separate examination of trees from each character set. Exploration of "tree space" with GARLI, using grid computing, showed that hundreds of searches are typically needed to find the best-feasible phylogeny estimate for these data. Conclusion Our results (a) corroborate the broad outlines of the current working phylogenetic hypothesis for Ditrysia, (b) demonstrate that some prominent features of that hypothesis, including the position of the butterflies, need revision, and (c) resolve the majority of family and subfamily relationships within superfamilies as thus far sampled. Much further gene and taxon sampling will be needed, however, to strongly resolve individual deeper nodes.

                Author and article information

                PeerJ Inc. (San Diego, USA )
                27 August 2019
                : 7
                [1 ]Grupo Biología Evolutiva, Department of Biology, Universidad de Sucre , Sincelejo, Sucre, Colombia
                [2 ]Systematic Biology Group, Department of Biology, Lund University , Lund, Sweden
                [3 ]Institut für Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Phyletisches Museum , Jena, Germany
                [4 ]Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki , Helsinki, Finland
                [5 ]Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns , München, Germany
                [6 ]Department of Zoology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu , Tartu, Estonia
                [7 ]Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences , Tartu, Estonia
                [8 ]Natural History Museum, University of Tartu , Tartu, Estonia
                [9 ]LepsocAfrica , Magaliesburg, South Africa
                [10 ]Berghoffsweg 5 , Jena, Germany
                © 2019 Murillo-Ramos et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funded by: Academy of Finland
                Award ID: 265511
                Funded by: Swedish Research Council
                Award ID: 2015-04441
                Funded by: Colciencias
                Award ID: 756-2016
                Funded by: Universidad de Sucre, Colombia
                Funded by: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 642241 (BIG4)
                Funded by: Estonian Ministry of Education and Research
                Award ID: IUT20-33
                Funded by: Funding for fieldwork in Peru
                Award ID: DFG grant Br 2280/6-1) and for visits to the NHM: SYNTHESYS grant GB TAF1048 and 6817
                Niklas Wahlberg received funding from the Academy of Finland (Grant No. 265511) and the Swedish Research Council (Grant No. 2015-04441). Leidys Murillo-Ramos received funding from Colciencias, 756-2016 and Universidad de Sucre, Colombia. Hamid Reza Ghanavi was funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 642241 (BIG4). Sille Holm, Erki Õunap, Andro Truuverk and Toomas Tammaru were supported by institutional research funding IUT (IUT20-33) of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. Gunnar Brehm received funding for fieldwork in Peru (DFG grant Br 2280/6-1) and for visits to the NHM (SYNTHESYS grant GB TAF1048 and 6817). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Evolutionary Studies

                new subfamily, phylogeny, moths, epidesmiinae, taxonomy, loopers


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