Molecular phylogeny of the fungus gnat tribe Exechiini (Mycetophilidae. Diptera).
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The phylogenetic relationships within the fungus gnat tribe Exechiini have been left unattended for many years. Recent studies have not shed much light on the intergeneric relationship within the tribe. Here the first attempt to resolve the phylogeny of the tribe Exechiini using molecular markers is presented. The nuclear 18S and the mitochondrial 16S, and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes were successfully sequenced for 20 species representing 15 Exechiini genera and five outgroup genera. Bayesian, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood analyses revealed basically congruent tree topologies and the monophyly of Exechiini, including the genus Cordyla, is confirmed. The molecular data corroborate previous morphological studies in several aspects. Cordyla is found in a basal clade together with Brachypeza, Pseudorymosia and Stigmatomeria. The splitting of the genera Allodiopsis s.l. and Brevicornu s.l. as well as the sistergroup relationship of Exechia and Exechiopsis is also supported. The limited phylogenetic information provided by morphological characters is mirrored in the limited resolution of the molecular markers used in this study. Short internal and long-terminal branches obtained may indicate a rapid radiation of the Exechiini genera during a short evolutionary period.