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      Revision of the Merodon serrulatus group (Diptera, Syrphidae)


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          The phytophagous hoverfly genus Merodon Meigen, 1803 ( Diptera , Syrphidae ), which comprises more than 160 species distributed in Palaearctic and Afrotropical regions, can be differentiated into multiple groups of species that harbor high levels of hidden diversity. In this work, the serrulatus species group of Merodon is revised, providing an illustrated key to species, a detailed discussion on the taxonomic characters and a morphological diagnosis, including also the first data about the preimaginal morphology of this species group. The study includes characteristics of the 13 species of the M. serrulatus group, along with the available distributional data. Moreover, descriptions are provided for seven new species, namely M. defectus Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov., M. disjunctus Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov., M. medium Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov., M. nigrocapillatus Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov., M. nigropunctum Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov., M. opacus Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov., and M. trianguloculus Vujić, Likov & Radenković sp. nov. In addition, the taxa M. serrulatus (Wiedemann in Meigen, 1822), M. bequaerti Hurkmans, 1993, M. hirsutus Sack, 1913, M. kawamurae Matsumura, 1916, M. sacki (Paramonov, 1936) and M. sophron Hurkmans, 1993 are redefined and redescribed. Following a detailed study of the type material sourced from different entomological collections, the status of all available taxa related to M. serrulatus is revised and a new synonymy is proposed: M. tener Sack, 1913 syn. nov. (junior synonym of M. serrulatus ). The identity of M. trizonus (Szilády, 1940) could not be assessed as the type specimens are lost. Thus, the name M. trizonus is considered as nomen dubium. The monophyly and composition of this species group are assessed through Maximum Parsimony and Maximum Likelihood analyses of the mitochondrial COI and nuclear 28S rRNA gene sequences.

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          The general stochastic model of nucleotide substitution.

          DNA sequence evolution through nucleotide substitution may be assimilated to a stationary Markov process. The fundamental equations of the general model, with 12 independent substitution parameters, are used to obtain a formula which corrects the effect of multiple and parallel substitutions on the measure of evolutionary divergence between two homologous sequences. We show that only reversible models, with six independent parameters, allow the calculation of the substitution rates. Simulation experiments on DNA sequence evolution through nucleotide substitution call into question the effectiveness of the general model (and of any other more detailed description); nevertheless, the general model results are slightly superior to any of its particular cases.
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            Multiple alignment of DNA sequences with MAFFT.

            Multiple alignment of DNA sequences is an important step in various molecular biological analyses. As a large amount of sequence data is becoming available through genome and other large-scale sequencing projects, scalability, as well as accuracy, is currently required for a multiple sequence alignment (MSA) program. In this chapter, we outline the algorithms of an MSA program MAFFT and provide practical advice, focusing on several typical situations a biologist sometimes faces. For genome alignment, which is beyond the scope of MAFFT, we introduce two tools: TBA and MAUVE.
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              Evaluation of Five Methods for Total DNA Extraction from Western Corn Rootworm Beetles

              Background DNA extraction is a routine step in many insect molecular studies. A variety of methods have been used to isolate DNA molecules from insects, and many commercial kits are available. Extraction methods need to be evaluated for their efficiency, cost, and side effects such as DNA degradation during extraction. Methodology/Principal Findings From individual western corn rootworm beetles, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, DNA extractions by the SDS method, CTAB method, DNAzol® reagent, Puregene® solutions and DNeasy® column were compared in terms of DNA quantity and quality, cost of materials, and time consumed. Although all five methods resulted in acceptable DNA concentrations and absorbance ratios, the SDS and CTAB methods resulted in higher DNA yield (ng DNA vs. mg tissue) at much lower cost and less degradation as revealed on agarose gels. The DNeasy® kit was most time-efficient but was the costliest among the methods tested. The effects of ethanol volume, temperature and incubation time on precipitation of DNA were also investigated. The DNA samples obtained by the five methods were tested in PCR for six microsatellites located in various positions of the beetle's genome, and all samples showed successful amplifications. Conclusion/Significance These evaluations provide a guide for choosing methods of DNA extraction from western corn rootworm beetles based on expected DNA yield and quality, extraction time, cost, and waste control. The extraction conditions for this mid-size insect were optimized. The DNA extracted by the five methods was suitable for further molecular applications such as PCR and sequencing by synthesis.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                05 February 2020
                : 909
                : 79-158
                [1 ] University of Novi Sad, Department of Biology and Ecology, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, Novi Sad, Serbia
                [2 ] Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, Faculty of Sciences III, Campus of San Vicente, University of Alicante, Spain
                [3 ] Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Novosibirsk, Russia
                [4 ] Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey
                [5 ] University of Novi Sad, BioSense Institute, Dr Zorana Đinđića 1, Novi Sad, Serbia
                [6 ] Zoology Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus, University of Helsinki, Finland
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Laura Likov ( laura.likov@ 123456dbe.uns.ac.rs )

                Academic editor: X. Mengual

                Ante Vujić, Laura Likov, Snežana Radenković, Nataša Kočiš Tubić, Mihajla Djan, Anja Šebić, Celeste Pérez-Bañón, Anatolij Barkalov, Rüstem Hayat, Santos Rojo, Andrijana Andrić, Gunilla Ståhls

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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