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A comprehensive phylogeny helps clarify the evolutionary history of host breadth and lure response in the Australian Dacini fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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Starkie, M. L., Cameron, S.L., Krosch, M.N., Phillips, M. J., Royer, J. E., Schutze, M. K., Strutt, F., Sweet, A.D., Zalucki, M.P. and Clarke, A.R. (2022) A comprehensive phylogeny helps clarify the evolutionary history of host breadth and lure response in the Australian Dacini fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 172 . p. 107481. ISSN 1055-7903

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2022.107481

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S105579032200094X


The tribe Dacini (Diptera: Tephritidae) contains over 930 recognised species and has been widely studied due to the economic importance of some taxa, such as the Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis. Despite the attention this group has received, very few phylogenetic reconstructions have comprehensively sampled taxa from a single biogeographic region, thereby limiting our capacity to address more targeted evolutionary questions. To study the evolution of diet breadth and male lure response, two key traits fundamental to understanding dacine diversity and the biology of pest taxa, we analysed 273 individuals representing 144 described species from Australia (80% continental coverage), the Pacific, and select close relatives from South-east Asia to estimate a dated molecular phylogenetic reconstruction of the Dacini. We utilised seven loci with a combined total of 4,332 nucleotides, to estimate both Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenies of the tribe. Consistent with other molecular phylogenies of the tribe, there was a high level of disagreement between the placement of species in the phylogeny and their current subgeneric and species-complex level taxonomies. The Australian fauna exhibit high levels of endemism, with radiations of both exclusively Australian clades, and clades that originate elsewhere (e.g. the Bactrocera dorsalis species group). Bidirectional movement of species has occurred between Papua New Guinea and Australia, with evidence for multiple incursions over evolutionary time. The Bactrocera aglaiae species group emerged sister to all other Bactrocera species examined. Divergence time estimates were ∼ 30 my younger than previously reported for this group, with the tribe diverging from its most recent common ancestor ∼ 43 mya. Ancestral trait reconstruction and tests for trait phylogenetic signal revealed a strong signal for the evolution of male lure response across the tree, with cue-lure/raspberry ketone lure response the ancestral trait. Methyl eugenol response has arisen on multiple, independent occasions. The evolution of host breadth exhibited a weaker signal; yet, basal groups were more likely to be host specialists. Both the evolution of lure response and host fruit use provide predictive information for the outbreak management of understudied pest fruit flies for which direct inference of these features may be lacking. Our results, which parallel those of earlier research into the closely-related African Dacus spp., demonstrate how geographically focussed taxon coverage allows Dacini phylogenetics to more explicitly test evolutionary hypotheses, thereby progressing our understanding of the evolution of this highly diverse and recently-radiated group of flies.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:Dacinae Ancestral traits Host relations
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Animal culture > Insect culture and beneficial insects
Live Archive:05 May 2022 04:10
Last Modified:09 Jan 2023 00:55

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