Sequence evolution in mitochondrial ribosomal and ND-1 genes in lepidoptera: implications for phylogenetic analyses
Molecular biology and evolution
A 2,256-bp sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a lepidopteran (Spodoptera frugiperda) contains tRNAs for valine and leucine, the 16s rRNA, and three-quarters of the ND-1 presumptive protein-coding gene. A 64-bp stretch of unknown function was located between the rRNA and leucine tRNA. Sequence divergence in the 16s rRNA obtained from alignment with published insect sequences is consistent with phylogenetic hypotheses, in that Diptera and Lepidoptera are more closely related to each other
... % sequence divergence) than either is to Hymenoptera (3 1%). Within the ND-1 gene, sequences for four additional Lepidoptera were generated for a 3 14-bp region and contrasted with published sequences for the locust and Drosophila. Sequence divergence in this region was consistent with accepted phylogenetic relationships, but results of parsimony analyses were not. Cladograms consistently recovered accepted higher level relationships (monophyly of Lepidop tera), despite high homoplasy, but were unable to resolve superfamily and family relationships within Lepidoptera, regardless of the outgroup or character subset analyzed. Character analysis indicated that homoplasy was decreased at higher levels when first-and second-codon sites were used exclusively. At the lowest level (families), resolution was enhanced by inclusion of third-codon sites. Inability of molecular data to recover a well-established phylogeny may be rectified by additional characters or taxa, but it is clear that homoplasy is sufficiently high to caution against the acceptance of relationships generated with this molecular region that are not extremely robust. 1.