TitleSequence alignment of 18S ribosomal RNA and the basal relationships of Adephagan beetles: Evidence for monophyly of aquatic families and the placement of Trachypachidae
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsShull, VL, Vogler, AP, Baker, MD, Maddison, DR, Hammond, PM
JournalSystematic Biology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Current hypotheses regarding family relationships in the suborder Adephaga (Coleoptera) are conflicting. Here we report full-length 18S ribosomal RNA sequences of 39 adephagans and 13 outgroup taxa. Data analysis focused on the impact of sequence alignment on tree topology, using two principally different approaches. Tree alignments, which seek to minimize indels and substitutions on the tree in a single step, as implemented in an approximate procedure by the computer program POY, were contrasted with a more traditional procedure based on alignments followed by phylogenetic inference based on parsimony, likelihood, and distance analyses. Despite substantial differences between the procedures, phylogenetic conclusions regarding basal relationships within Adephaga and relationships between the four suborders of Coleoptera were broadly similar. The analysis weakly supports monophyly of Adephaga, with Polyphaga usually as its sister, and the two small suborders Myxophaga and Archostemata basal to them. In some analyses, however, Polyphaga was reconstructed as having arisen from within Hydradephaga. Adephaga generally split into two monophyletic groups, corresponding to the terrestrial Geadephaga and the aquatic Hydradephaga, as initially proposed by Crowson in 1955, consistent with a single colonization of the aquatic environment by adephagan ancestors and contradicting the recent proposition of three independent invasions. A monophyletic Hydradephaga is consistently, though not strongly, supported under most analyses, and a parametric bootstrapping test significantly rejects an hypothesis of nonmonophyly. The enigmatic Trachypachidae, which exhibit many similarities to aquatic forms but whose species are entirely terrestrial, were usually recovered as a basal lineage within Geadephaga. Strong evidence opposes the view that terrestrial trachypachids are related to the dytiscoid water beetles.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000173246500011