A total-evidence phylogeny of ticks provides insights into the evolution of life cycles and biogeography.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2001 Nov; 21(2):244-58.MP
We inferred the phylogeny of 33 species of ticks from the subfamilies Rhipicephalinae and Hyalomminae from analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and morphology. We used nucleotide sequences from 12S rRNA, cytochrome c oxidase I, internal transcribed spacer 2 of the nuclear rRNA, and 18S rRNA. Nucleotide sequences and morphology were analyzed separately and together in a total-evidence analysis. Analyses of the five partitions together (3303 characters) gave the best-resolved and the best-supported hypothesis so far for the phylogeny of ticks in the Rhipicephalinae and Hyalomminae, despite the fact that some partitions did not have data for some taxa. However, most of the hidden conflict (lower support in the total-evidence analyses compared to that in the individual analyses) was found in those partitions that had taxa without data. The partitions with complete taxonomic sampling had more hidden support (higher support in the total-evidence analyses compared to that in the separate-partition analyses) than hidden conflict. Mapping of geographic origins of ticks onto our phylogeny indicates an African origin for the Rhipicephalinae sensu lato (i.e., including Hyalomma spp.), the Rhipicephalus-Boophilus lineage, the Dermacentor-Anocentor lineage, and the Rhipicephalus-Booophilus-Nosomma-Hyalomma-Rhipicentor lineage. The Nosomma-Hyalomma lineage appears to have evolved in Asia. Our total-evidence phylogeny indicates that (i) the genus Rhipicephalus is paraphyletic with respect to the genus Boophilus, (ii) the genus Dermacentor is paraphyletic with respect to the genus Anocentor, and (iii) some subgenera of the genera Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus are paraphyletic with respect to other subgenera in these genera. Study of the Rhipicephalinae and Hyalomminae over the last 7 years has shown that analyses of individual datasets (e.g., one gene or morphology) seldom resolve many phylogenetic relationships, but analyses of more than one dataset can generate well-resolved phylogenies for these ticks.