Hamburg, Germany
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Peters R.S.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Meyer B.,Universitatsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf | Krogmann L.,Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Stuttgart | Borner J.,University of Hamburg | And 4 more authors.
BMC Biology | Year: 2011

Background: Enormous molecular sequence data have been accumulated over the past several years and are still exponentially growing with the use of faster and cheaper sequencing techniques. There is high and widespread interest in using these data for phylogenetic analyses. However, the amount of data that one can retrieve from public sequence repositories is virtually impossible to tame without dedicated software that automates processes. Here we present a novel bioinformatics pipeline for downloading, formatting, filtering and analyzing public sequence data deposited in GenBank. It combines some well-established programs with numerous newly developed software tools (available at We used the bioinformatics pipeline to investigate the phylogeny of the megadiverse insect order Hymenoptera (sawflies, bees, wasps and ants) by retrieving and processing more than 120,000 sequences and by selecting subsets under the criteria of compositional homogeneity and defined levels of density and overlap. Tree reconstruction was done with a partitioned maximum likelihood analysis from a supermatrix with more than 80,000 sites and more than 1,100 species. In the inferred tree, consistent with previous studies, "Symphyta" is paraphyletic. Within Apocrita, our analysis suggests a topology of Stephanoidea + (Ichneumonoidea + (Proctotrupomorpha + (Evanioidea + Aculeata))). Despite the huge amount of data, we identified several persistent problems in the Hymenoptera tree. Data coverage is still extremely low, and additional data have to be collected to reliably infer the phylogeny of Hymenoptera.Conclusions: While we applied our bioinformatics pipeline to Hymenoptera, we designed the approach to be as general as possible. With this pipeline, it is possible to produce phylogenetic trees for any taxonomic group and to monitor new data and tree robustness in a taxon of interest. It therefore has great potential to meet the challenges of the phylogenomic era and to deepen our understanding of the tree of life. © 2011 Peters et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Haas A.,Zoologisches Museum Hamburg | Hertwig S.T.,Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern | Krings W.,Zoologisches Museum Hamburg | Braskamp E.,Zoologisches Museum Hamburg | And 5 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

This communication reports the discovery of the hitherto unknown larval forms of Rhacophorus rufipes and R. penanorum, and re-describes the tadpole of R. dulitensis. Tadpoles of all three species were discovered at Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak (Borneo), Malaysia. The identity of the larvae was determined by DNA barcoding techniques using partial 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene sequences. Larval DNA sequences matched those of syntopic adults of respective species. Detailed descriptions of external morphology and colouration in life are provided along with ecological notes. The tadpole of R. rufipes and R. dulitensis can be classified as generalized, benthic-nectonic type, whereas tadpoles of R. penanorum show adaptations typical for a lotic, rheophilous lifestyle. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.

Hertwig S.T.,Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern | Lilje K.E.,Kistlerstrasse 18 | Min P.Y.,University Malaysia Sarawak | Haas A.,Zoologisches Museum Hamburg | Das I.,University Malaysia Sarawak
Raffles Bulletin of Zoology | Year: 2012

The tree frogs of the taxon Rhacophoridae are known for their impressive diversity of reproductive strategies. Direct development on land has been described in the Old World Bush Frogs belonging to the genera Philautus, Pseudophilautus, and Raorchestes. However, in numerous species especially within the Bornean Philautus, breeding behaviours remain unknown. In this paper, we match a clutch of eggs found on Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo), using genetic barcoding to syntopically occurring adults of Philautus acutus. This species is known only from its type locality in the montane forests at high elevations on Gunung Mulu. The eggs were found on leaf litter of the forest floor and are characterised by a protective, compact, outer jelly capsule. The froglets inside the eggs were at advanced stages of development and showed a bifurcating dorsal pattern similar to adults of P. acutus. Beside the discovery of its breeding behaviour, we add a description of the habitat of this rare species. Furthermore, this account of aerial direct development in a Philautus species from Borneo contributes to our understanding of the evolution of reproductive strategies within the lineage. Finally, we present a review of observations of the breeding behaviour in Bornean Philautus species available in the literature. © National University of Singapore.

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