J Syst Evol ›› 2023, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (6): 1047-1055.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12943

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Mitochondrial genome phylogeny reveals the deep-time origin of Gomphomastacinae (Orthoptera: Eumastacidae) and its alpine genera in China

Jun-Jie Ge, Hong-Fei Ying, Sheng-Quan Xu*, and Hua-Teng Huang*   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Authors for correspondence. Sheng-Quan Xu. E-mail: xushengquan@snnu.edu.cn; Hua-Teng Huang. E-mail: huanghuateng@snnu.edu.cn
  • Received:2022-06-17 Accepted:2022-12-19 Online:2022-12-28 Published:2023-11-01

Abstract: Gomphomastacinae is a grasshopper subfamily in Eumastacidae, with a morphology and distribution distinct from other subfamilies. The alpine genera of Gomphomastacinae that inhabit the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in China show unique characteristics adapted to high-altitude life. However, their phylogenetic position and biogeographic history remain controversial. Thus, to determine the diversification history of these alpine genera and the origin of the subfamily, we obtained mitochondrial genome sequences from all seven Gomphomastacinae genera distributed in China. The reconstructed phylogeny was well supported and confirmed the phylogenetic position of Gomphomastacinae within Eumastacidae. Time calibration revealed a deep-time origin of the subfamily dating back to the Cretaceous period, and the diversification among alpine genera was also an ancient pre-Miocene event (30–50 Ma). Based on phylogeny and time estimates, the most likely biogeographic scenario is that Gomphomastacinae originated from an ancestral lineage that lived in East Gondwana and dispersed to Central and Western Asia through India. Subsequently, the alpine genera likely diverged along with the uplift of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and survived drastic climate change by in situ adaptation to high-altitude dwellings.

Key words: divergence time, Eumastacidae, Gomphomastacinae, mitochondrial genome, phylogeny