Molecular phylogenetics of Braconidae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea), based on multiple nuclear genes, and implications for classification

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:B. J. Sharanowski, Dowling, A. P. G., Sharkey, M. J.
Journal:Systematic Entomology

This study examined subfamilial relationships within Braconidae, using 4 kb of sequence data for 139 taxa. Genetic sampling included previously used markers for phylogenetic studies of Braconidae (28S and 18S rDNA) as well as new nuclear protein-coding genes (CAD and ACC). Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference of the concatenated dataset recovered a robust phylogeny, particularly for early divergences within the family. This study focused primarily on non-cyclostome subfamilies, but the monophyly of the cyclostome complex was strongly supported. There was evidence supporting an independent clade, termed the aphidioid complex, as sister to the cyclostome complex of subfamilies. Maxfischeria was removed from Helconinae and placed within its own subfamily within the aphidioid complex. Most relationships within the cyclostome complex were poorly supported, probably because of lower taxonomic sampling within this group. Similar to other studies, there was strong support for the alysioid subcomplex containing Gnamptodontinae, Alysiinae, Opiinae and Exothecinae. Cenocoeliinae was recovered as sister to all other subfamilies within the euphoroid complex. Planitorus and Mannokeraia, previously placed in Betylobraconinae and Masoninae, respectively, were moved to the Euphorinae, and may share a close affiliation with Neoneurinae. Neoneurinae and Ecnomiinae were placed as tribes within Euphorinae. A sister relationship between the microgastroid and sigalphoid complexes was also recovered. The helconoid complex included a well-supported lineage that is parasitic on lepidopteran larvae (macrocentroid subcomplex). Helconini was raised to subfamily status, and was recovered as sister to the macrocentroid subcomplex. Blacinae was demoted to tribal status and placed within the newly circumscribed subfamily Brachistinae, which also contains the tribes Diospilini, Brulleiini and Brachistini, all formerly in Helconinae.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith