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Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Aug 22;279(1741):3282-90. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.0744. Epub 2012 May 23.

Insect phylogenomics: results, problems and the impact of matrix composition.

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1
Department für Tropenökologie und Biodiversität der Tiere, Universität Wien, Rennweg 14, 1030 Wien, Austria. harald.letsch@univie.ac.at

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular and morphological characters are available. Here, we provide the first phylogenomic expressed sequence tags data ('EST': short sub-sequences from a c(opy) DNA sequence encoding for proteins) for stick insects (Phasmatodea) and webspinners (Embioptera) to complete published EST data. As recent EST datasets are characterized by a heterogeneous distribution of available genes across taxa, we use different rationales to optimize the data matrix composition. Our results suggest a monophyletic origin of Polyneoptera and Eumetabola (Paraneoptera + Holometabola). However, we identified artefacts of tree reconstruction (human louse Pediculus humanus assigned to Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) or Holometabola (insects with a complete metamorphosis); mayfly genus Baetis nested within Neoptera), which were most probably rooted in a data matrix composition bias due to the inclusion of sequence data of entire proteomes. Until entire proteomes are available for each species in phylogenomic analyses, this potential pitfall should be carefully considered.

PMID:
22628473
PMCID:
PMC3385742
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2012.0744
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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