Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung

Bonn, Germany

Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung

Bonn, Germany
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Blanke A.,University of Tsukuba | Ruhr P.T.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | Mokso R.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Villanueva P.,Paul Scherrer Institute | And 6 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2015

In butterflies, bees, flies and true bugs specific mouthparts are in close contact or even fused to enable piercing, sucking or sponging of particular food sources. The common phenomenon behind these mouthpart types is a com-plex composed of several consecutive mouthparts which structurally interact during food uptake. The single mouthparts are thus only functional in con-junction with other adjacent mouthparts, which is fundamentally different to biting-chewing. It is, however, unclear when structural mouthpart inter-action (SMI) evolved since this principle obviously occurred multiple times independently in several extant and extinct winged insect groups. Here, we report a new type of SMI in two of the earliest wingless hexapod lineages— Diplura and Collembola. We found that the mandible and maxilla interact with each other via an articulatory stud at the dorsal side of the maxillary stipes, and they are furthermore supported by structures of the hypopharynx and head capsule. These interactions are crucial stabilizing elements during food uptake. The presence of SMI in these ancestrally wingless insects, and its absence in those crustacean groups probably ancestral to insects, indicates that SMI is a groundplan apomorphy of insects. Our results thus contradict the currently established view of insect mouthpart evolution that biting-chewing mouthparts without any form of SMI are the ancestral configuration. Further-more, SMIs occur in the earliest insects in a high anatomical variety. SMIs in stemgroup representatives of insects may have triggered efficient exploitation and fast adaptation to new terrestrial food sources much earlier than previously supposed. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Christa G.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | Gould S.B.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Franken J.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | Vleugels M.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Molluscan Studies | Year: 2014

The evolution and origin of functional kleptoplasty (sequestration and retention of functional plastids) within the Sacoglossa is still controversial. While some authors have suggested that it is a synapomorphy of the parapodia-bearing Plakobranchoidea, others have suggested an earlier origin at the base of the more inclusive clade Plakobranchacea. The latter is supported by the presence of kleptoplasts in Costasiella ocellifera, a ceras-bearing member of Limapontioidea, in which they remain functional for several weeks and fix CO2. However, the phylogenetic relationships of Costasiella, especially with regard to the Plakobranchoidea, have not been satisfactorily demonstrated, and the photosynthetic ability and the importance of photosynthesis within the genus remain poorly studied. In this study we analyse the phylogenetic position, photosynthetic activity and importance of photosynthesis for survival during starvation of five Costasiella species, but focusing on C. ocellifera. We demonstrate that Costasiella is a basal member of the Limapontioidea, however a final conclusion on the origin of functional kleptoplasty within Sacoglossa is still not possible. Three Costasiella species maintain functional chloroplasts (of which C. ocellifera shows long-term retention, and both C. kuroshimae and C. sp. 1 short-term retention) and together form a monophyletic group, feeding mainly on Avrainvillea. The two nonphotosynthetic species, C. nonatoi and C. sp. 2, represent the sister clade and feed on algae other than Avrainvillea. Intriguingly, C. ocellifera survived under nonphotosynthetic conditions for a minimum of 38 d, demonstrating that photosynthates may not be essential in order to survive starvation. These findings support our previous suggestion that during starvation kleptoplasts primarily represent a sort of larder, whose function might benefit from ongoing photosynthesis. © 2014 The Author.

Hauser J.,Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies | Kobert K.,Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies | Izquierdo-Carrasco F.,Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies | Meusemann K.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | And 3 more authors.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

Assigning an optimal combination of empirical amino acid substitution models (e.g., WAG, LG, MTART) to partitioned multi-gene datasets when branch lengths across partitions are linked, is suspected to be an NP-hard problem. Given p partitions and the approximately 20 empirical protein models that are available, one needs to compute the log likelihood score of 20p possible model-to-partition assignments for obtaining the optimal assignment. Initially, we show that protein model assignment (PMA) matters for empirical datasets in the sense that different (optimal versus suboptimal) PMAs can yield distinct final tree topologies when tree searches are conducted using RAxML. In addition, we introduce and test several heuristics for finding near-optimal PMAs and present generally applicable techniques for reducing the execution times of these heuristics. We show that our heuristics can find PMAs with better log likelihood scores on a fixed, reasonable tree topology than the naïve approach to the PMA, which ignores the fact that branch lengths are linked across partitions. By re-analyzing a large empirical dataset, we show that phylogenies inferred under a PMA calculated by our heuristics have a different topology than trees inferred under a naïvely calculated PMA; these differences also induce distinct biological conclusions. The heuristics have been implemented and are available in a proof-of-concept version of RAxML. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Pohl H.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Niehuis O.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | Gloyna K.,TL Bio Test Labor GmbH Sagerheide | Misof B.,Zentrum fur Molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung | Beutel R.G.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena
ZooKeys | Year: 2012

A new species of Mengenilla Hofeneder, 1910 (Strepsiptera, Mengenillidae) from southern Tunisia is described. Mengenilla moldrzyki sp. n. can be distinguished from congeners by a slightly emarginated posterodorsal margin of the head, compound eyes with a light tan dorsal part, mandibles with a narrow distal part, and a v-shaped pronotum. With the description of M. moldrzyki sp. n., eleven valid species of Mengenilla are currently recognised. Mengenilla moldrzyki sp. n. is the third species of the genus with known females and female puparia. First instar larvae, endoparasitic larval stages, the male puparium and the host are unknown. The new species is also the first strepsipteran with a fully sequenced genome. © Hans Pohl et al.

von Reumont B.M.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Struwe J.-F.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Schwarzer J.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Misof B.,Zentrum fur molekulare Biodiversitatsforschung
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research | Year: 2012

Patterns of common recolonization routes from glacial refugia to Central Europe during the Pleistocene are generalized to paradigms of postglacial recolonization in Europe. Recent studies indicate, however, that the actual phylogeographic history of many species might be more complex and cannot be simplified to generalized patterns. Burnet moths of the Zygaena transalpina complex represent a group of closely related taxa, which are considered as a typical example for these generalized patterns. At present, three groups are recognized that are assumed to have spread from three classical refugia in Western Europe, Italy and the Balkans to Central Europe. Here, we re-investigate their phylogeography using a combined molecular and morphometric approach. Phylogenetic and nested clade phylogeographic analyses of 476 samples from 55 localities taken from Southern and Central Europe reveal that the Zygaena transalpina complex consists of three distinct haplotype clusters, which geographically roughly correspond to possible refugia in Western Europe, Italy and the Balkans. A synthesis of the data with a geometric morphometry dataset of 425 specimens from 46 localities corroborates this molecular result but differs in several aspects. Important new aspects are multiple refugia of the western 'hippocrepidis' branch and micro-habitats within the Alps of the central 'transalpina' branch. Further, our results display a more complex phylogeographic pattern for this species complex, which is not tractable with a rigid, generalized pattern. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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