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      Systematics and evolution of the cutworm moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): evidence from two protein-coding nuclear genes : Molecular systematics of Noctuidae

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      Systematic Entomology

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Is Congruence between Data Partitions a Reliable Predictor of Phylogenetic Accuracy? Empirically Testing an Iterative Procedure for Choosing among Phylogenetic Methods

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            Phylogenetic utility of elongation factor-1 alpha in noctuoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera): the limits of synonymous substitution.

            To test its phylogenetic utility, nucleotide sequence variation in a 1,240-bp fragment of the elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) gene was examined in 49 moth species representing the major groups of the superfamily Noctuoidea. Both parsimony and distance analyses supported the monophyly of nearly all groups for which there are clear morphological synapomorphies. Clades of subfamily rank and lower, probably mid-Tertiary and younger, were strongly supported. The third codon position contains 88% of variable sites, and approaches saturation at approximately 20% sequence divergence, possibly due to among-site rate heterogeneity and composition bias; higher divergences occur only in association with shifts in composition. Surprisingly, the few nonsynonymous changes appear no more phylogenetically reliable than synonymous changes. Signal strength for basal divergences is weak and fails to improve with character weighting; thus, dense taxon sampling is probably needed for strong inference from EF-1 alpha regarding deeper splits in Noctuoidea (probably early Tertiary). EF-1 alpha synonymous changes show promise for phylogeny reconstruction within Noctuidae and other groups of Tertiary age.
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              A new nuclear gene for insect phylogenetics: dopa decarboxylase is informative of relationships within Heliothinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

              The lack of a readily accessible roster of nuclear genes informative at various taxonomic levels is a bottleneck for molecular systematics. In this report, we describe the first phylogenetic application of the sequence that encodes the enzyme dopa decarboxylase (DDC). For 14 test species within the noctuid moth subfamily Heliothinae that represent the previously best-supported groupings, a 690-bp fragment of DDC resolved relationships that are largely concordant with prior evidence from elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1 alpha), morphology, and allozymes. Although both synonymous and nonsynonymous changes occur in DDC substantially more rapidly than they do in EF-1 alpha, DDC divergences within Heliothinae are below saturation at all codon positions. Analysis of DDC and EF-1 alpha in combination resulted in increased bootstrap support for several groupings. As a first estimate of previously unresolved relationships, DDC sequences were analyzed from 16 additional heliothines, for a total of 30 heliothine species plus outgroups. Previous relationships based on DDC were generally stable with increased taxon sampling, although a two- to eightfold downweighting of codon position 3 was required for complete concordance with the 14-species result. The weighted strict consensus trees were largely resolved and were congruent with most although not all previous hypotheses based on either morphology or EF-1 alpha. The proposed phylogeny suggests that the major agricultural pest heliothines belong to a single clade, characterized by polyphagy and associated life history traits, within this largely host-specific moth subfamily. DDC holds much promise for phylogenetic analysis of Tertiary-age animal groups.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Systematic Entomology
                Wiley-Blackwell
                03076970
                13653113
                January 2006
                April 2005
                : 31
                : 1
                : 21-46
                Article
                10.1111/j.1365-3113.2005.00306.x
                © 2006

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