Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution

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Abstract

Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relationships. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [∼479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight to the Early Devonian (∼406 Ma), of major extant lineages to the Mississippian (∼345 Ma), and the major diversification of holometabolous insects to the Early Cretaceous. Our phylogenomic study provides a comprehensive reliable scaffold for future comparative analyses of evolutionary innovations among insects.

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Misof, B., Liu, S., Meusemann, K., Peters, R. S., Donath, A., Mayer, C., … Zhou, X. (2014). Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution. Science, 346(6210), 763–767. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1257570

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