Towards a mitogenomic phylogeny of Lepidoptera

Timmermans, Martijn J. T. N. ORCID:, Lees, David C. and Simonsen, Thomas J. (2014) Towards a mitogenomic phylogeny of Lepidoptera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 79 . pp. 169-178. ISSN 1055-7903 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.05.031)


The backbone phylogeny of Lepidoptera remains unresolved, despite strenuous recent morphological and molecular efforts. Molecular studies have focused on nuclear protein coding genes, sometimes adding a single mitochondrial gene. Recent advances in sequencing technology have, however, made acquisition of entire mitochondrial genomes both practical and economically viable. Prior phylogenetic studies utilised just eight of 43 currently recognised lepidopteran superfamilies. Here, we add 23 full and six partial mitochondrial genomes (comprising 22 superfamilies of which 16 are newly represented) to those publically available for a total of 24 superfamilies and ask whether such a sample can resolve deeper lepidopteran phylogeny. Using recoded datasets we obtain topologies that are highly congruent with prior nuclear and/or morphological studies. Our study shows support for an expanded Obtectomera including Gelechioidea, Thyridoidea, plume moths (Alucitoidea and Pterophoroidea; possibly along with Epermenioidea), Papilionoidea, Pyraloidea, Mimallonoidea and Macroheterocera. Regarding other controversially positioned higher taxa, Doidae is supported within the new concept of Drepanoidea and Mimallonidae sister to (or part of) Macroheterocera, while among Nymphalidae butterflies, Danainae and not Libytheinae are sister to the remainder of the family. At the deepest level, we suggest that a tRNA rearrangement occurred at a node between Adeloidea and Ditrysia + Palaephatidae + Tischeriidae.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 15564
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Depositing User: Martijn Timmermans
Date Deposited: 01 May 2015 08:48
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2020 16:06

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