There are three major classes of insect genetic systems: those with diploid males (diplodiploidy), those with effectively haploid males (haplodiploidy), and those without males (thelytoky). Mixed systems, involving cyclic or facultative switching between thelytoky and either of the other systems, also occur. I present a classification of the genetic systems of insects and estimate the number of evolutionary transitions between them that have occurred. Obligate thelytoky has arisen from each of the other systems, and there is evidence that over 900 such origins have occurred. The number of origins of facultative thelytoky and the number of reversions from obligate thelytoky to facultative and cyclic thelytoky are difficult to estimate. The other transitions are few in number: five origins of cyclic thelytoky, eight origins of obligate haplodiploidy (including paternal genome elimination), the strange case of Micromalthus, and the two reversions from haplodiploidy to diplodiploidy in scale insects. Available evidence tends to support W.D. Hamilton's hypothesis that maternally transmitted endosymbionts have been involved in the origins of haplodiploidy. Bizarre systems of extrazygotic inheritance in Sternorrhyncha are not easily accommodated into any existing classification of genetic systems.
Beetles in the weevil subfamilies Scolytinae and Platypodinae are unusual in that they burrow as adults inside trees for feeding and oviposition. Some of these beetles are known as ambrosia beetles for their obligate mutualisms with asexual fungi--known as ambrosia fungi--that are derived from plant pathogens in the ascomycete group known as the ophiostomatoid fungi. Other beetles in these subfamilies are known as bark beetles and are associated with free-living, pathogenic ophiostomatoid fungi that facilitate beetle attack of phloem of trees with resin defenses. Using DNA sequences from six genes, including both copies of the nuclear gene encoding enolase, we performed a molecular phylogenetic study of bark and ambrosia beetles across these two subfamilies to establish the rate and direction of changes in life histories and their consequences for diversification. The ambrosia beetle habits have evolved repeatedly and are unreversed. The subfamily Platypodinae is derived from within the Scolytinae, near the tribe Scolytini. Comparison of the molecular branch lengths of ambrosia beetles and ambrosia fungi reveals a strong correlation, which a fungal molecular clock suggests spans 60 to 21 million years. Bark beetles have shifted from ancestral association with conifers to angiosperms and back again several times. Each shift to angiosperms is associated with elevated diversity, whereas the reverse shifts to conifers are associated with lowered diversity. The unusual habit of adult burrowing likely facilitated the diversification of these beetle-fungus associations, enabling them to use the biomass-rich resource that trees represent and set the stage for at least one origin of eusociality.
Ancient asexuals – organisms that have lived without sex for millions of years – offer unique opportunities for discriminating among the various theories of the maintenance of sex. The last few years have seen molecular studies of a number of putative ancient asexual lineages, including bdelloid rotifers, Darwinulid ostracods, and mycorrhizal fungi. To help make sense of the diverse findings of such studies, we present a review and classification of the predicted effects of loss of sex on the eukaryotic genome. These include: (1) direct effects on the genetic structure of individuals and populations; (2) direct effects on the mutation rate due to the loss of the sexual phase; (3) decay of genes specific to sex and recombination; (4) effects of the cessation of sexual selection; (5) dis‐adaptation due to the reduced efficiency of selection; and (6) adaptations to asexuality. We discuss the utility of the various predictions for detecting ancient asexuality, for testing hypotheses of the reversibility of a transition to asexuality, and for discriminating between theories of sex. In addition, we review the current status of putative ancient asexuals. © 2003 The Linnean Society of London. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 2003, 79, 69–84.
Many aphids harbor a variety of endosymbiotic bacteria. The functions of these symbionts can range from an obligate nutritional role to a facultative role in protecting their hosts against environmental stresses. One such symbiont is "Candidatus Serratia symbiotica," which is involved in defense against heat and potentially also in aphid nutrition. Lachnid aphids have been the focus of several recent studies investigating the transition of this symbiont from a facultative symbiont to an obligate symbiont. In a phylogenetic analysis of Serratia symbionts from 51 lachnid hosts, we found that diversity in symbiont morphology, distribution, and function is due to multiple independent origins of symbiosis from ancestors belonging to Serratia and possibly also to evolution within distinct symbiont clades. Our results do not support cocladogenesis of "Ca. Serratia symbiotica" with Cinara subgenus Cinara species and weigh against an obligate nutritional role. Finally, we show that species belonging to the subfamily Lachninae have a high incidence of facultative symbiont infection.
The beetle family Scolytidae includes several groups having regular sib-mating and extremely femalebiased sex ratios. Two such groups are known to include haplodiploid species: (i) the tribe Xyleborini and (ii) Coccotrypes and related genera within the tribe Dryocoetini. Relationships of these groups have been controversial. We analysed elongation factor 1-a (852 bp) and cytochrome oxidase 1 (1179 bp) sequences for 40 species. The most-parsimonious trees imply a single origin of haplodiploidy uniting Xyleborini (approximately 1200 species) and sib-mating Dryocoetini (approximately 160 species). The sister-group of the haplodiploid clade is the outcrossing genus Dryocoetes. The controversial genus Premnobius is outside the haplodiploid clade. Most haplodiploid scolytids exploit novel resources, ambrosia fungi or seeds, but a few have the ancestral habit of feeding on phloem. Thus, scolytids provide the clearest example of W. D. Hamilton's scenario for the evolution of haplodiploidy (life under bark leading to inbreeding and hence to female-biased sex ratios through haplodiploidy) and now constitute a unique opportunity to study diplodiploid and haplodiploid sister-lineages in a shared ancestral habitat. There is some evidence of sex determination by maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria, which may explain the consistency with which female-biased sex ratios and close inbreeding have been maintained.
Ancient asexual lineages are of great potential significance for understanding the evolutionary biology of sex, but their existence is controversial. In part, this is because claims of ancient asexuality have rested on negative evidence-a mere absence of evidence for sexuality in a taxon. M. Meselson has suggested a method, discussed by Judson and Normark (1996) and by Birky (1996), that has the potential to uncover positive evidence of ancient asexuality. Phylogenetic relationships between alleles and interallelic divergences are predicted to be very different in diploid lineages that lack recombination from those in diploid lineages that undergo recombination. I have applied Meselson's method to the putatively ancient asexual aphid tribe Tramini (Homoptera: Aphidoidea: Lachnidae), using the intron-bearing nuclear protein-coding gene elongation factor I« (EF-Ia). I found heterozygosities much lower than intraspecific divergences, indicating that some recombination has occurred, but not discriminating between recombination within an asexual lineage (automixis or mitotic recombination) and outcrossing sex. Species of Trarnini (especially in the genus Trama) typically have highly structurally heterozygous karyotypes that appear to be incompatible with regular successful meiosis, and have very high levels of karyotype variability within species. I found very high levels of karyotype variability within lineages with identical EF-la and mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase 1 and 2) genotypes, indicating a high rate of karyotype evolution compared to the rate of nucleotide substitution.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2024 scite LLC. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers
Part of the Research Solutions Family.