Evolution of Hypolimnas butterflies (Nymphalidae): Out-of-Africa origin and Wolbachia-mediated introgression
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Hypolimnas butterflies (Nymphalidae), commonly known as eggflies, are a popular model system for studying a wide range of ecological questions including mimicry, polymorphism, wing pattern evolution, and Wolbachia-host interactions. The lack of a time-calibrated phylogeny for this group has precluded understanding its evolutionary history. We reconstruct a species-level phylogeny using a nine gene dataset and estimate species divergence times. Based on the resulting tree, we investigate the taxon's historical biogeography, examine the evolution of host plant preferences, and test the hypothesis that the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia mediates gene transfer between species. Our analyses indicate that the species are grouped within three strongly supported, deeply divergent clades. However, relationships among these three clades are uncertain. In addition, many Hypolimnas species are not monophyletic or monophyletic with weak support, suggesting widespread incomplete lineage sorting and/or introgression. Biogeographic analysis strongly indicates that the genus diverged from its ancestor in Africa and subsequently dispersed to Asia; the strength of this result is not affected by topological uncertainties. While the larvae of African species feed almost exclusively on Urticaceae, larvae of species found further east often feed on several additional families. Interestingly, we found an identical mitochondrial haplotype in two Hypolimnas species, H. bolina and H. alimena, and a strong association between this mitotype and the Wolbachia strain wBol1a. Future investigations should explore the plausibility of Wolbachia-mediated introgression between species.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution|
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Jun 1|