J Syst Evol

• Research Article •    

Comprehensive phylogenomic analyses revealed higher-level phylogenetic relationships within the Cucujiformia

Xinghao Li1, Rufan Li1, Fangjing Hu1, Shuai Zheng1, Fuqiang Rao1, Rong An2, Yonghong Li2,*, Deguang Liu1,3,*   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Plant Protection Resources and Pest Management of Ministry of Education, College of Plant Protection, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
    2 Hybrid Rapeseed Research Center of Shaanxi Province, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
    3 Key Laboratory of Integrated Pest Management on the Loess Plateau of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, College of Plant Protection, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
    * Corresponding author: Yonghong Li (yhlion@126.com); Deguang Liu (dgliu@nwsuaf.edu.cn)
  • Received:2023-12-23 Accepted:2024-04-15 Published:2024-04-15

Abstract: The Cucujiformia, with remarkable morphological, ecological, and behavioral diversity, is the most evolutionarily successful group within Coleoptera. However, the phylogenetic relationships among superfamilies within Cucujiformia remain elusive. To address the issues, we conducted a transcriptome-based macro-evolutionary study of this lineage. We sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of three species from the superfamily Curculionoidea (two from Curculionidae and one from Brentidae), and obtained a dataset of more than 569,990 amino acid alignments from 143 species of Cucujiformia. With the most complete collection of whole-genomes and transcriptomes so far, we compared the performance of different data matrices with universal-single-copy orthologs (USCO). The resultant trees based on different datasets were consistent for the majority of deep nodes. Two USCO amino acid matrices (i.e., USCO75 and USCO750-abs80) provided well-resolved topology. The analyses confirm that Cucujoidea sensu Robertson et al. 2015 is a non-monophyletic group, consisting of Erotyloidea, Nitiduloidea and Cucujoidea sensu Cai et al. 2022. Moreover, Erotyloidea is the early-diverging group, followed by the clade Nitiduloidea. The preferred topologies supported a “basal” split of Coccinelloidea from the remaining superfamilies, and Cleroidea formed the second splitting group. The following phylogeny was supported at the superfamily level in Cucujiformia: (Coccinelloidea, (Cleroidea, ((Lymexyloidea, Tenebrionoidea), (Erotyloidea, (Nitiduloidea, (Cucujoidea, (Chrysomeloidea, Curculionoidea))))))). Our comprehensive analyses recovered well-resolved higher-level phylogenetic relationships within the Cucujiformia, providing a stable framework for comprehending its evolutionary history.

Key words: Cucujiformia, phylogeny, transcriptome, Cucujoidea, macro-evolution, Coleoptera