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      Evolutionary diversification of Japanese Stomaphis aphids (Aphididae, Lachninae) in relation to their host plant use and ant association


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          Phytophagous insects are among the most diverse of the earth’s organisms, and their diversification patterns and the driving forces behind these have attracted considerable research interest. Host shifting to closely related plant species is thought to play an important role in phytophagous insect diversification, but the extent to which other interactions such as mutualistic associations affect diversification is not yet known. In this study, we reconstructed the molecular phylogeny of Japanese Stomaphis aphids and determined whether host shifting or mutualistic association with different ant species could explain diversification in this aphid genus. We analyzed 12 species of Stomaphis and grouped them into ten well-supported DNA lineages. Species in each lineage used a single or a few host plant species, but were mutualistically associated with many ant species of the genus Lasius. This result suggests that Stomaphis evolutionarily diversified primarily through host plant shifts. Interestingly, the reconstructed phylogeny suggests that Stomaphis host shifts occasionally occurred between very distantly related host plant taxa (spanning up to five plant orders). The dependence of Stomaphis on long-lasting Lasius ant colonies situated in temperate deciduous forests where Lasius is the dominant ant genus may have led the aphids to shift to distantly related but spatially adjacent host tree species.

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          Mechanisms of plant defense against insect herbivores.

          Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control. Host plant resistance to insects, particularly, induced resistance, can also be manipulated with the use of chemical elicitors of secondary metabolites, which confer resistance to insects. By understanding the mechanisms of induced resistance, we can predict the herbivores that are likely to be affected by induced responses. The elicitors of induced responses can be sprayed on crop plants to build up the natural defense system against damage caused by herbivores. The induced responses can also be engineered genetically, so that the defensive compounds are constitutively produced in plants against are challenged by the herbivory. Induced resistance can be exploited for developing crop cultivars, which readily produce the inducible response upon mild infestation, and can act as one of components of integrated pest management for sustainable crop production.
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            TREEFINDER: a powerful graphical analysis environment for molecular phylogenetics

            Background Most analysis programs for inferring molecular phylogenies are difficult to use, in particular for researchers with little programming experience. Results TREEFINDER is an easy-to-use integrative platform-independent analysis environment for molecular phylogenetics. In this paper the main features of TREEFINDER (version of April 2004) are described. TREEFINDER is written in ANSI C and Java and implements powerful statistical approaches for inferring gene tree and related analyzes. In addition, it provides a user-friendly graphical interface and a phylogenetic programming language. Conclusions TREEFINDER is a versatile framework for analyzing phylogenetic data across different platforms that is suited both for exploratory as well as advanced studies.
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              Host races in plant-feeding insects and their importance in sympatric speciation.

              The existence of a continuous array of sympatric biotypes - from polymorphisms, through ecological or host races with increasing reproductive isolation, to good species - can provide strong evidence for a continuous route to sympatric speciation via natural selection. Host races in plant-feeding insects, in particular, have often been used as evidence for the probability of sympatric speciation. Here, we provide verifiable criteria to distinguish host races from other biotypes: in brief, host races are genetically differentiated, sympatric populations of parasites that use different hosts and between which there is appreciable gene flow. We recognize host races as kinds of species that regularly exchange genes with other species at a rate of more than ca. 1% per generation, rather than as fundamentally distinct taxa. Host races provide a convenient, although admittedly somewhat arbitrary intermediate stage along the speciation continuum. They are a heuristic device to aid in evaluating the probability of speciation by natural selection, particularly in sympatry. Speciation is thereby envisaged as having two phases: (i) the evolution of host races from within polymorphic, panmictic populations; and (ii) further reduction of gene flow between host races until the diverging populations can become generally accepted as species. We apply this criterion to 21 putative host race systems. Of these, only three are unambiguously classified as host races, but a further eight are strong candidates that merely lack accurate information on rates of hybridization or gene flow. Thus, over one-half of the cases that we review are probably or certainly host races, under our definition. Our review of the data favours the idea of sympatric speciation via host shift for three major reasons: (i) the evolution of assortative mating as a pleiotropic by-product of adaptation to a new host seems likely, even in cases where mating occurs away from the host; (ii) stable genetic differences in half of the cases attest to the power of natural selection to maintain multilocus polymorphisms with substantial linkage disequilibrium, in spite of probable gene flow; and (iii) this linkage disequilibrium should permit additional host adaptation, leading to further reproductive isolation via pleiotropy, and also provides conditions suitable for adaptive evolution of mate choice (reinforcement) to cause still further reductions in gene flow. Current data are too sparse to rule out a cryptic discontinuity in the apparently stable sympatric route from host-associated polymorphism to host-associated species, but such a hiatus seems unlikely on present evidence. Finally, we discuss applications of an understanding of host races in conservation and in managing adaptation by pests to control strategies, including those involving biological control or transgenic parasite-resistant plants.

                Author and article information

                Die Naturwissenschaften
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                19 March 2020
                19 March 2020
                : 107
                : 2
                : 14
                [1 ]GRID grid.263518.b, ISNI 0000 0001 1507 4692, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Technology, , Shinshu University, ; Nagano, Japan
                [2 ]GRID grid.174567.6, ISNI 0000 0000 8902 2273, Graduate School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, , Nagasaki University, ; Nagasaki, Japan
                [3 ]GRID grid.419152.a, ISNI 0000 0001 0166 4675, Shibaura Institute of Technology Kashiwa Junior and Senior High School, ; Chiba, Japan
                [4 ]GRID grid.261455.1, ISNI 0000 0001 0676 0594, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Science, , Osaka Prefecture University, ; Osaka, Japan
                [5 ]GRID grid.263518.b, ISNI 0000 0001 1507 4692, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, , Shinshu University, ; Nagano, Japan
                Author notes

                Communicated by: Oliver Hawlitschek

                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 7 November 2019
                : 25 February 2020
                : 2 March 2020
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001691, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science;
                Award ID: 16J09182
                Award ID: 26291090
                Award Recipient :
                Original Paper
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                © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

                host shift,phylogenetic reconstruction,phytophagous insect,species specificity
                host shift, phylogenetic reconstruction, phytophagous insect, species specificity


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