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Exp Appl Acarol. 2007;42(4):239-62. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Spider mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) mitochondrial COI phylogeny reviewed: host plant relationships, phylogeography, reproductive parasites and barcoding.

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Evolutionary Biology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, P. O. Box 94062, Amsterdam, 1090 GB, The Netherlands.


The past 15 years have witnessed a number of molecular studies that aimed to resolve issues of species delineation and phylogeny of mites in the family Tetranychidae. The central part of the mitochondrial COI region has frequently been used for investigating intra- and interspecific variation. All these studies combined yield an extensive database of sequence information of the family Tetranychidae. We assembled this information in a single alignment and performed an overall phylogenetic analysis. The resulting phylogeny shows that important patterns have been overlooked in previous studies, whereas others disappear. It also reveals that mistakes were made in submitting the data to GenBank, which further disturbed interpretation of the data. Our total analysis clearly shows three clades that most likely correspond to the species T. urticae, T. kanzawai and T. truncatus. Intraspecific variation is very high, possibly due to selective sweeps caused by reproductive parasites. We found no evidence for host plant associations and phylogeographic patterns in T. urticae are absent. Finally we evaluate the application of DNA barcoding.

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