Phylogenomic data help resolve the phylogeny of Curculionoidea and yield insights into the evolution of weevil megadiversity

Wednesday, November 13, 2013: 9:14 AM
Meeting Room 5 ABC (Austin Convention Center)
Alex Aitken , Biological Sciences, University of Memphis, Ripley, TN
Duane D. McKenna , Department of Biological Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Weevils (superfamily Curculionoidea) are an extremely successful lineage of phytophagous beetles. They exhibit a remarkable diversity of body sizes, shapes and structures, reflecting an equally remarkable range of habits. The phylogeny of weevils has received much recent attention using traditional molecular phylogenetic and morphological data and methods. Nonetheless, many aspects of weevil phylogeny and evolution, particularly the phylogeny of the unusually diverse family Curculionidae (>51,000 described species), remain controversial. Using hundreds of orthologous genes sampled from across Curculionoidea via anchored phylogenomic methods, we reconstructed the higher-level phylogeny of weevils. The resulting data and phylogenetic trees allow for testing of long-standing hypotheses concerning weevil relationships and evolution, and serve as a foundation for further/deeper sampling of the uniquely diverse beetle family Curculionidae.