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      Systematics and evolution of the African butterfly genus Mylothris (Lepidoptera, Pieridae)

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      Nota Lepidopterologica

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          We study the systematics and evolutionary history of the Afrotropical butterfly genus Mylothris (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) based on six gene regions (COI, EF1a, GAPDH, MDH, RpS5 and wingless). We find that the genus can be placed into five species groups, termed the jacksoni, elodina, rhodope, agathina and hilara groups. Within these species groups, we find that many species show very little genetic differentiation based on the markers we sequenced, suggesting they have undergone rapid and recent speciation. Based on secondary calibrations, we estimate the age of the crown group of Mylothris to be about 16 million years old, but that many of the species level divergences have happened in the Pleistocene. We infer that the clade has its origin in the forests of the Eastern part of Central Africa, and has spread out from there to other regions of Africa.

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          Model selection in historical biogeography reveals that founder-event speciation is a crucial process in Island Clades.

          Founder-event speciation, where a rare jump dispersal event founds a new genetically isolated lineage, has long been considered crucial by many historical biogeographers, but its importance is disputed within the vicariance school. Probabilistic modeling of geographic range evolution creates the potential to test different biogeographical models against data using standard statistical model choice procedures, as long as multiple models are available. I re-implement the Dispersal-Extinction-Cladogenesis (DEC) model of LAGRANGE in the R package BioGeoBEARS, and modify it to create a new model, DEC + J, which adds founder-event speciation, the importance of which is governed by a new free parameter, [Formula: see text]. The identifiability of DEC and DEC + J is tested on data sets simulated under a wide range of macroevolutionary models where geography evolves jointly with lineage birth/death events. The results confirm that DEC and DEC + J are identifiable even though these models ignore the fact that molecular phylogenies are missing many cladogenesis and extinction events. The simulations also indicate that DEC will have substantially increased errors in ancestral range estimation and parameter inference when the true model includes + J. DEC and DEC + J are compared on 13 empirical data sets drawn from studies of island clades. Likelihood-ratio tests indicate that all clades reject DEC, and AICc model weights show large to overwhelming support for DEC + J, for the first time verifying the importance of founder-event speciation in island clades via statistical model choice. Under DEC + J, ancestral nodes are usually estimated to have ranges occupying only one island, rather than the widespread ancestors often favored by DEC. These results indicate that the assumptions of historical biogeography models can have large impacts on inference and require testing and comparison with statistical methods. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
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            A likelihood framework for inferring the evolution of geographic range on phylogenetic trees.

            At a time when historical biogeography appears to be again expanding its scope after a period of focusing primarily on discerning area relationships using cladograms, new inference methods are needed to bring more kinds of data to bear on questions about the geographic history of lineages. Here we describe a likelihood framework for inferring the evolution of geographic range on phylogenies that models lineage dispersal and local extinction in a set of discrete areas as stochastic events in continuous time. Unlike existing methods for estimating ancestral areas, such as dispersal-vicariance analysis, this approach incorporates information on the timing of both lineage divergences and the availability of connections between areas (dispersal routes). Monte Carlo methods are used to estimate branch-specific transition probabilities for geographic ranges, enabling the likelihood of the data (observed species distributions) to be evaluated for a given phylogeny and parameterized paleogeographic model. We demonstrate how the method can be used to address two biogeographic questions: What were the ancestral geographic ranges on a phylogenetic tree? How were those ancestral ranges affected by speciation and inherited by the daughter lineages at cladogenesis events? For illustration we use hypothetical examples and an analysis of a Northern Hemisphere plant clade (Cercis), comparing and contrasting inferences to those obtained from dispersal-vicariance analysis. Although the particular model we implement is somewhat simplistic, the framework itself is flexible and could readily be modified to incorporate additional sources of information and also be extended to address other aspects of historical biogeography.
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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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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nota Lepidopterologica
                NL
                Pensoft Publishers
                2367-5365
                0342-7536
                February 11 2020
                February 11 2020
                : 43
                : 1-14
                Article
                10.3897/nl.43.46354
                © 2020

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