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      Revealing pancrustacean relationships: Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal protein genes places Collembola (springtails) in a monophyletic Hexapoda and reinforces the discrepancy between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers

      , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1

      BMC Evolutionary Biology

      BioMed Central

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          In recent years, several new hypotheses on phylogenetic relations among arthropods have been proposed on the basis of DNA sequences. One of the challenged hypotheses is the monophyly of hexapods. This discussion originated from analyses based on mitochondrial DNA datasets that, due to an unusual positioning of Collembola, suggested that the hexapod body plan evolved at least twice. Here, we re-evaluate the position of Collembola using ribosomal protein gene sequences.


          In total 48 ribosomal proteins were obtained for the collembolan Folsomia candida. These 48 sequences were aligned with sequence data on 35 other ecdysozoans. Each ribosomal protein gene was available for 25% to 86% of the taxa. However, the total sequence information was unequally distributed over the taxa and ranged between 4% and 100%. A concatenated dataset was constructed (5034 inferred amino acids in length), of which ~66% of the positions were filled. Phylogenetic tree reconstructions, using Maximum Likelihood, Maximum Parsimony, and Bayesian methods, resulted in a topology that supports monophyly of Hexapoda.


          Although ribosomal proteins in general may not evolve independently, they once more appear highly valuable for phylogenetic reconstruction. Our analyses clearly suggest that Hexapoda is monophyletic. This underpins the inconsistency between nuclear and mitochondrial datasets when analyzing pancrustacean relationships. Caution is needed when applying mitochondrial markers in deep phylogeny.

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          Most cited references 48

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          The Clustal series of programs are widely used in molecular biology for the multiple alignment of both nucleic acid and protein sequences and for preparing phylogenetic trees. The popularity of the programs depends on a number of factors, including not only the accuracy of the results, but also the robustness, portability and user-friendliness of the programs. New features include NEXUS and FASTA format output, printing range numbers and faster tree calculation. Although, Clustal was originally developed to run on a local computer, numerous Web servers have been set up, notably at the EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/clustalw/).
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            The Bioperl project is an international open-source collaboration of biologists, bioinformaticians, and computer scientists that has evolved over the past 7 yr into the most comprehensive library of Perl modules available for managing and manipulating life-science information. Bioperl provides an easy-to-use, stable, and consistent programming interface for bioinformatics application programmers. The Bioperl modules have been successfully and repeatedly used to reduce otherwise complex tasks to only a few lines of code. The Bioperl object model has been proven to be flexible enough to support enterprise-level applications such as EnsEMBL, while maintaining an easy learning curve for novice Perl programmers. Bioperl is capable of executing analyses and processing results from programs such as BLAST, ClustalW, or the EMBOSS suite. Interoperation with modules written in Python and Java is supported through the evolving BioCORBA bridge. Bioperl provides access to data stores such as GenBank and SwissProt via a flexible series of sequence input/output modules, and to the emerging common sequence data storage format of the Open Bioinformatics Database Access project. This study describes the overall architecture of the toolkit, the problem domains that it addresses, and gives specific examples of how the toolkit can be used to solve common life-sciences problems. We conclude with a discussion of how the open-source nature of the project has contributed to the development effort.
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                Author and article information

                BMC Evol Biol
                BMC Evolutionary Biology
                BioMed Central
                12 March 2008
                : 8
                : 83
                [1 ]Department of Animal Ecology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                Copyright © 2008 Timmermans et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Evolutionary Biology


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