The phylogeny of Galerucinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and the performance of mitochondrial genomes in phylogenetic inference compared to nuclear rRNA genes

Nie, Rui E.; Breeschoten, Thijmen; Timmermans, Martijn J.T.N.; Nadein, Konstantin; Xue, Huai Jun; Bai, Ming; Huang, Yuan; Yang, Xing Ke; Vogler, Alfried P.


With efficient sequencing techniques, full mitochondrial genomes are rapidly replacing other widely used markers, such as the nuclear rRNA genes, for phylogenetic analysis but their power to resolve deep levels of the tree remains controversial. We studied phylogenetic relationships of leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) in the tribes Galerucini and Alticini (root worms and flea beetles) based on full mitochondrial genomes (103 newly sequenced), and compared their performance to the widely sequenced nuclear rRNA genes (full 18S, partial 28S). Our results show that: (i) the mitogenome is phylogenetically informative from subtribe to family level, and the per-nucleotide contribution to nodal support is higher than that of rRNA genes, (ii) the Galerucini and Alticini are reciprocally monophyletic sister groups, if the classification is adjusted to accommodate several 'problematic genera' that do not fit the dichotomy of lineages based on the presence (Alticini) or absence (Galerucini) of the jumping apparatus, and (iii) the phylogenetic results suggest a new classification system of Galerucini with eight subtribes: Oidina, Galerucina, Hylaspina, Metacyclina, Luperina, Aulacophorina, Diabroticina and Monoleptina.