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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008 Jan;46(1):183-92. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Holarctic wetland leaf beetle of the genus Plateumaris.

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Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-oiwake-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Leaf beetles of the genus Plateumaris inhabit wetlands across the temperate zone of the Holarctic region. To explore the phylogeographic relationships among North American, East Asian, and European members of this genus and the origin of the species endemic to Japan, we studied the molecular phylogeny of 20 of the 27 species in this genus using partial sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and the 16S and nuclear 28S rRNA genes. The molecular phylogeny revealed that three species endemic to Europe are monophyletic and sister to the remaining 11 North American and six Asian species. Within the latter clade, North American and Asian species did not show reciprocal monophyly. Dispersal-vicariance analysis and divergence time estimation revealed that the European and North America-Asian lineages diverged during the Eocene. Moreover, subsequent differentiation occurred repeatedly between North American and Asian species, which was facilitated by three dispersal events from North America to Asia and one in the opposite direction during the late Eocene through the late Miocene. Two Japanese endemics originated from different divergence events; one differentiated from the mainland lineage after differentiation from the North American lineage, whereas the other showed a deep coalescence from the North American lineage with no present-day sister species on the East Asian mainland. This study of extant insects provides molecular phylogenetic evidence for ancient vicariance between Europe and East Asia-North America, and for more recent (but pre-Pleistocene) faunal exchanges between East Asia and North America.

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