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Mol Ecol. 2004 Oct;13(10):3099-113.

Phylogeography of two European Reticulitermes (Isoptera) species: the Iberian refugium.

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Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR CNRS 6035, Université François Rabelais, Parc Grandmont, 37200 Tours, France.


Chemical, i.e. cuticular hydrocarbons, and molecular data were used to probe the phylogeography of Reticulitermes termites collected from various parts of France, Spain and Portugal. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred from sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of nuclear ribosomal RNA genes as well as from two partial mitochondrial DNA segments, the cytochrome oxidase II gene and a sequence combining the tRNA-Leu gene and fragments of the NADH dehydrogenase I and ribosomal 16S genes. Two species, namely, R. grassei and R. banyulensis, were identified based on an analysis of cuticular hydrocarbons and the identification was confirmed by ITS2 haplotyping. However, phylogeny based on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA was not completely in agreement with the conclusions drawn from the chemical and nuclear data. An analysis of 56 R. grassei colonies revealed intraspecific differentiation into two major lineages with distinct geographical ranges. Whereas analysis of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that R. banyulensis was chemically distinct from R. grassei, analysis of mitochondrial DNA showed its close kinship with the R. grassei lineage occurring in southern Spain. This kinship could be explained by their evolution from a common polymorphic ancestor species in this ice age refugium.

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