The phylogenetic positions of three Basal-hexapod groups (protura, diplura, and collembola) based on ribosomal RNA gene sequences

Yun-Xia Luan, Jon M Mallatt, Rong-Dong Xie, Yi-Ming Yang, Wen-Ying Yin
Molecular Biology and Evolution 2005, 22 (7): 1579-92
This study combined complete 18S with partial 28S ribosomal RNA gene sequences ( approximately 2,000 nt in total) to investigate the relations of basal hexapods. Ten species of Protura, 12 of Diplura, and 10 of Collembola (representing all subgroups of these three clades) were sequenced, along with 5 true insects and 8 other arthropods, which served as out-groups. Trees were constructed with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian analysis, and minimum-evolution analysis of LogDet-transformed distances. All methods yielded strong support for a clade of Protura plus Diplura, here named Nonoculata, and for monophyly of the Diplura. Parametric-bootstrapping analysis showed our data to be inconsistent with previous hypotheses (P < 0.01) that joined Protura with Collembola (Ellipura), that said Diplura are sister to true insects or are diphyletic, and that said Collembola are not hexapods. That is, our data are consistent with hexapod monophyly and Collembola grouped weakly with "Protura + Diplura" under most analytical conditions. As a caveat to the above conclusions, the sequences showed nonstationarity of nucleotide frequencies across taxa, so the CG-rich sequences of the diplurans and proturans may have grouped together artifactually; however, the fact that the LogDet method supported this group lessens this possibility. Within the basal hexapod groups, where nucleotide frequencies were stationary, traditional taxonomic subgroups generally were recovered: i.e., within Protura, the Eosentomata and Acerentomata (but Sinentomata was not monophyletic); within Collembola, the Arthropleona, Poduromorpha, and Entomobryomorpha (but Symphypleona was polyphyletic); and in Diplura, the most complete data set (> 2,100 nt) showed monophyly of Campodeoidea and of Japygoidea, and most methods united Projapygoidea with Japygoidea.

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