Molecular phylogenetic analysis of ant subfamily relationship inferred from rDNA sequences

Drosophila Genetic Resource Center, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan.
Genes & Genetic Systems (Impact Factor: 0.93). 01/2004; 78(6):419-25. DOI: 10.1266/ggs.78.419
Source: PubMed


The relationships among ant subfamilies were studied by phylogenetic analysis of rDNA sequences of 15 species from seven subfamilies. PCR primers were designed on the basis of the rDNA sequence of the Australian bulldog ant, Myrmecia croslandi, previously determined. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using sequences of a fragment of 18S rDNA (1.8 kb), a fragment of 28S rDNA (0.7 kb excluding variable regions) and a combination of the 18S and 28S rDNAs, by neighbor-joining (NJ), maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML). rDNA sequences corresponding to the same fragments from three non-ant hymenopteran species (a sawfly, a bee and a wasp) were employed as outgroups. These trees indicated that the ant subfamilies were clustered singly, and, among the seven subfamilies examined, Ponerinae and six other subfamilies are in a sister-groups relationship. The relationship among the six subfamilies, however, was not clarified. The phylogenetic trees constructed in the present study are not in contradiction to the tree from cladistic analysis of morphological data by Baroni Urbani et al. (1992) and the tree from morphological and molecular data (Ward and Brady, 2003), but are inconsistent with the traditional phylogeny. The present results thus raise a question as to the status of some traditionally employed "key" morphological characters. The present results also call for a reexamination of Amblyopone traditionally treated as a member of Ponerinae as belonging to a new subfamily.

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    • "However, recent molecular analyses include only a limited number of taxa of the genus Pachycondyla (e.g. Ohnishi et al. 2003; Astruc et al. 2004; Brady et al. 2006; Moreau et al. 2006; Ouellette et al. 2006). Thus, many species complexes in Pachycondyla remain unresolved (e.g. "
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    Zootaxa 01/2010; 2685:39-50. · 0.91 Impact Factor
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    • "The ant systematics has remained in a state of flux until recently ( Brothers 1975 , 1999 ; Taylor 1978 ; Bolton 1990a , b , 2003 ; Ward 1990 ; Baroni Urbani et al . 1992 ; Shattuck 1992 ; Brothers and Carpenter 1993 ; Grimaldi et al . 1997 ; Ohnishi et al . 2003 ; Ward and Brady 2003 ; Astruc et al . 2004 ; Saux et al . 2004 ; Ouellette et al . 2006 ) . However , new results recently reported by Brady et al . ( 2006 ) and Moreau et al . ( 2006 )"
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.
    The Science of Nature 03/2008; 95(2):91-7. DOI:10.1007/s00114-007-0302-7 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    • "Among the outgroups there is very strong support (100% PB, 1.00 PP) for the monophyly of Myrmecia, Myrmeciinae , Ectatomminae (represented by Typhlomyrmex and Ectatomma), Formicidae, and for a group consisting of all sampled ant taxa except four poneromorph genera (Amblyopone, Hypoponera, Paraponera and Proceratium). The last group, here termed the 'formicoid clade' and comprising all extant ants except leptanillomorphs and some poneromorphs, is beginning to emerge from molecular analyses as one of the best-supported deep branches in ant phylogeny (Brady, 2003; Ward & Brady, 2003; Ohnishi et al., 2004; Saux et al., 2004). Our results also suggest that the bradynobaenid (Chyphotes) is more closely related to ants than is the vespid (Mischocyttarus), but here there is a mismatch between strong support under parsimony (98% PB) and poor support under Bayesian inference (0.58 PP). "
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    ABSTRACT:   The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae comprises three genera of hyperoptic, arboreal ants, widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions: Pseudomyrmex (∼200 species, New World), Myrcidris (two species, South America) and Tetraponera (∼100 species, Palaeotropics). The phylogenetic relationships among these ants were investigated using DNA sequence data (∼5.2 kb from 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, wingless, abdominal-A, and long-wavelength rhodopsin genes) and 144 morphological characters, both separately and in combination. Data were gathered from a representative set of forty-nine pseudomyrmecine species, plus eighteen species from various outgroups. There was substantial agreement among the results obtained from different datasets, and from different methods of phylogenetic inference (parsimony, Bayesian inference). The monophyly of the following groups is strongly supported (100% bootstrap support and 1.00 posterior probability in the molecular dataset): Pseudomyrmecinae, Pseudomyrmex, and Pseudomyrmex + Myrcidris. The status of the genus Tetraponera is less clear: the DNA sequence data indicate that the genus is paraphyletic, but morphological features and a unique insertion in the 28S gene support the monophyly of this taxon. Seven of nine Pseudomyrmex species groups, established previously on the basis of morphology alone, are strongly upheld, but monophyly is rejected for the P. pallens group and the P. viduus group. In the latter case, molecular evidence indicates the existence of two independent clades, associated with the ant-plants Triplaris and Tachigali, respectively, whose convergent morphological features had caused them to be placed erroneously in the same species group. The present results confirm an earlier assertion that obligate associations with domatia-bearing plants have arisen at least twelve times in the subfamily. Molecular and morphological data support the hypothesis of a sister-group relationship between Pseudomyrmecinae and Myrmeciinae (84% parsimony bootstrap, combined dataset), which implies a Cretaceous origin of the stem-group pseudomyrmecines in the southern hemisphere. Pseudomyrmecines appear to have arisen in the Palaeotropics and later dispersed from Africa to South America, where they experienced a pronounced burst of diversification.
    Systematic Entomology 03/2005; 30(2):310 - 335. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3113.2004.00281.x · 2.78 Impact Factor
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