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Recent speciation in the Formica rufa group ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): inference from mitochondrial DNA phylogeny
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Conservation Biology and Genetics.
2004 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, E-ISSN 1095-9513, Vol. 32, no 1, 198-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines phylogenetic relationships among six species of the Formica rufa group ants (F. polyctena, F. rufa, F. lugubris, F. paralugubris, F. aquilonia, and F. pratensis). The phylogeny based on a 2051bp fragment of mtDNA including cyt b, tRNASer, and ND1 genes supports the division of the group into three major clusters: one with the species F. polyctena and F. rufa, one with F. aquilonia, F. lugubris, and F. paralugubris, and the third one with F. pratensis. The interspecific divergence estimates (mean 0.98 +/- 0.15% for the main phylogenetic groups) imply that radiation took place during the Pleistocene. Comparison of the divergence estimates among the F. rufa group species with divergence estimates among other closely related species of insects suggests that speciation in the group was relatively fast, and the mitochondrial lineages of F. polyctena and F. rufa have not fully separated. The haplotype tree shows also signs of transfer of mtDNA between species through hybridisation. The distribution of polygyny (multiple queens per nest) along the branches of the tree indicates that the social type characterised by highly polygynous societies and large colonial networks, has originated at least three times. The species F. aquilonia and F. paralugubris that build such large supercolonies, cluster tightly together with very little nucleotide variation, suggesting that this type of social organisation could be a factor promoting speciation in the ants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 32, no 1, 198-206 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-91130DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2003.11.016PubMedID: 15186807OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-91130DiVA: diva2:163741
Available from: 2003-11-25 Created: 2003-11-25 Last updated: 2013-07-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phylogeographic Structure and Genetic Variation in Formica Ants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phylogeographic Structure and Genetic Variation in Formica Ants
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study phylogeny, species-wide phylogeography and genetic diversity in Formica ants across Eurasia in connection with the history of biotic responses to Quaternary environmental changes.

The mitochondrial DNA phylogeny of Palaearctic Formica species supported the subgeneric grouping based on morphological similarity. The exception was that F. uralensis formed a separate phylogenetic group. The mitochondrial DNA phylogeny of the F. rufa group showed the division into three major phylogenetic groups: one with the species F. polyctena and F. rufa, one with F. aquilonia, F. lugubris and F. paralugubris, and the third one with F. pratensis.

West-east phylogeographic divisions were found in F. pratensis suggesting post-glacial colonization of western Europe and a wide area from Sweden to the Baikal Lake from separate forest refugia. In contrast, no phylogeographic divisions were detected in either F. lugubris or F. exsecta. Contraction of the distribution range to a single refugial area during the late Pleistocene and the following population expansion could offer a general explanation for the lack of phylogeographic structure across most of Eurasia in these species.

Sympatrically distributed and ecologically similar species F. uralensis and F. candida showed clear difference in the phylogeographic structure that reflected difference in their vicariant history. Whereas no phylogeographic divisions were detected in F. uralensis across Europe, F. candida showed a well-supported phylogeographic division between the western, the central and the southern group.

In socially polymorphic F. cinerea, the overall level of intrapopulation microsatellite diversity was relatively high and differentiation among populations was low, indicating recent historical connections. The lack of correspondence between genetic affinities and geographic locations of studied populations did not provide any evidence for differentiating between alternative hypotheses concerning the directions and sources of postglacial colonization of Fennoscandia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2003. 36 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 912
Genetics, Formica ants, phylogeography, phylogeny, Pleistocene refugia, population expansion, social organization, Genetik
National Category
Medical Genetics
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3803 (URN)91-554-5818-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-12-20, Lindahl-salen, EBC, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2003-11-25 Created: 2003-11-25Bibliographically approved

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