Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Evolution. 2003 Aug;57(8):1804-21.

Evolutionary dynamics of host-plant use in a genus of leaf-mining moths.

Author information

Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, United Kingdom.


We used nuclear 28S rDNA sequence data to estimate the phylogeny of 77 leaf-mining Phyllonorycter (Gracillariidae) moth species, including all 55 British species, feeding on 44 different plant genera. There was strong support for both the monophyly of Phyllonorycter and the placement of the genus Cameraria as its sister group. Host-plant use was mapped onto the moth phylogeny and investigated statistically in several ways. First, we show that the estimated level of cospeciation between leaf miners and their host plants is not greater than expected by chance, despite the physical intimacy of the association. Nevertheless, the pattern of host-plant use is far from random, with closely related Phyllonorycter species generally feeding on closely related plants. However, although Phyllonorycter species from a given host plant tend to form distinct clades, there is also statistical support for multiple independent colonizations of some host-plant taxa (e.g. the order Rosales and the genus Corylus). Despite numerous host shifts, most Phyllonorycter species feed on trees and the few species that attack shrubs or herbs have mostly acquired these habits independently. There is also limited evidence that host shifts to herbs are more likely from shrubs than from trees. Similarly, most species mine the lower surface of leaves but the few upper-surface miners have each evolved the habit independently. Consequently, these shifts to new adaptive zones have not led to substantial radiations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication types, MeSH terms, Secondary source ID

Publication types

MeSH terms

Secondary source ID

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center