Papilio phylogeny based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II genes.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1999 Feb; 11(1):122-37.MP
Butterflies of the genus Papilio have served as the basis for numerous studies in insect physiology, genetics, and ecology. However, phylogenetic work on relationships among major lineages in the genus has been limited and inconclusive. We have sequenced 2.3 kb of DNA from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II genes (COI and COII) for 23 Papilio taxa and two outgroups, Pachliopta neptunus and Eurytides marcellus, in order to assess the potential of these genes for use in Papilio phylogenetics and to examine patterns of gene evolution across a broad taxonomic range. Nucleotide and amino acid variation is distributed heterogeneously, both within and between genes. Structural features of the proteins are not always reliable predictors of variation. In a combined analysis, these sequences support a nearly fully resolved topology within subgenera and species groups, though higher level relationships among species groups require additional study. The most noteworthy findings are that neither Papilio alexanor nor P. xuthus belongs in the machaon group and that the subgenus Pterourus is paraphyletic with respect to the subgenus Pyrrhosticta. We leave relationships among members of the phorcas species group as a trichotomy. These two protein coding genes, particularly COI, show excellent performance in resolving relationships at the level of species and species groups among Papilionidae. We strongly endorse a similar approach for future studies aimed at these levels.