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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 28;106(17):7083-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810618106. Epub 2009 Apr 13.

Temporal lags and overlap in the diversification of weevils and flowering plants.

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1
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. dmckenna@oeb.harvard.edu

Abstract

The extraordinary diversity of herbivorous beetles is usually attributed to coevolution with angiosperms. However, the degree and nature of contemporaneity in beetle and angiosperm diversification remain unclear. Here we present a large-scale molecular phylogeny for weevils (herbivorous beetles in the superfamily Curculionoidea), one of the most diverse lineages of insects, based on approximately 8 kilobases of DNA sequence data from a worldwide sample including all families and subfamilies. Estimated divergence times derived from the combined molecular and fossil data indicate diversification into most families occurred on gymnosperms in the Jurassic, beginning approximately 166 Ma. Subsequent colonization of early crown-group angiosperms occurred during the Early Cretaceous, but this alone evidently did not lead to an immediate and major diversification event in weevils. Comparative trends in weevil diversification and angiosperm dominance reveal that massive diversification began in the mid-Cretaceous (ca. 112.0 to 93.5 Ma), when angiosperms first rose to widespread floristic dominance. These and other evidence suggest a deep and complex history of coevolution between weevils and angiosperms, including codiversification, resource tracking, and sequential evolution.

PMID:
19365072
PMCID:
PMC2678426
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0810618106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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