Friday, November 05, 2010

Comparing the different hypotheses for Strepsiptera

HalictophagidaeImage via Wikipedia
I have been comparing the different phylogenetic hypotheses for the Strepsiptera. As always, it has been hell to get the trees from images back into a suitable format for topology comparison. I have used the program METATREE for comparing multiple trees. The tree of trees essentially shows the two main hypotheses "Strepsiptera sister to Diptera" supported by the studies of Whiting and Wheeler using 18S and 28S rDNA, and at the other end of the metatree the "Strepsiptera sister to Coleoptera" supported by morphological studies and recent molecular studies using nuclear genes. Other differences in the Holometabola topologies are also illustrated in the metatree such as the variable position of the Hymenoptera. Anyway, to me, it looks like the research community is reaching a consensus on the "Strepsiptera problem": Strepsiptera sister to Coleoptera. What do you think?
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