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Title:Molecular phylogenetics of the North American stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera), with description of a new species and family
Author(s):South, Eric James
Director of Research:Dewalt, R. Edward
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dewalt, R. Edward
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Davis, Mark A; Johnson, Kevin P; Suarez, Andrew V; Whitfield, James B
Department / Program:Entomology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
North America
Abstract:Stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera) are vital to aquatic ecological systems worldwide. Their value as bioindicators and ideal subjects for biogeographic and phylogeographic studies is directly dependent on the integrity of their phylogeny. Yet, a fully-resolved and well-supported phylogeny of the order has eluded researchers for centuries. Previous phylogenetic hypotheses have shown incongruence and unresolved relationships, especially within the suborder Arctoperlaria. The primary objective of this dissertation was to examine relationships within the Arctoperlaria through construction of a robust molecular phylogeny of the North American Plecoptera. Live adult specimens, including 132 species across 92 of the 109 described North American genera, were collected from the United States and Canada. A total of 1400 orthologous genes selected from transcriptomes were used in maximum likelihood (ML) and multispecies coalescent (msc) analyses. High support was recovered for several family relationships including 1) Chloroperlidae + Perlodidae, 2) Peltoperlidae as sister to four infraorder Systellognatha families, and 3) Nemouridae + Capniidae instead of the traditionally accepted Leuctridae + Capniidae clade. A fourth result of the North American analyses was recovery of a separate family level lineage for the genus Kathroperla. Therefore, the phylogenetic position of Kathroperla and its traditionally designated subfamily Paraperlinae were investigated further using analysis of 800 orthologues from 32 Systellognatha Plecoptera, including all ten species of Paraperlinae, seven of which were sequenced for this dissertation chapter. Results from ML and msc analyses supported a monophyletic Kathroperla as sister to the remaining superfamily Perloidea. Examination of specimens revealed postocular head length as a distinct character. Combined molecular and morphological evidence supported Kathroperlidae, fam. n., as the seventeenth family of extant Plecoptera. Phylogenetic relationships were also examined at the species level within the Nearctic genus Perlesta Banks. A preliminary phylogenetic hypothesis for Perlesta was constructed for 17 congeners and outgroup taxa using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding fragment data for 66 specimens. Results of ML and Bayesian analyses were congruent with previous species groupings based on morphology of male genitalia. A significant outcome of this dissertation chapter was description of a new species, Perlesta sublobata South & DeWalt, 2019. In addition to the molecular results, which included a monophyletic grouping of ten P. sublobata COI haplotypes, images and illustrations of a distinct prominent ventral caecum and a large basal dorsal spinulae patch of the aedeagus supported description of this new species.
Issue Date:2020-12-02
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Eric South
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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