Phylogeography of Aglais urticae (Lepidoptera) based on DNA sequences of the mitochondrial COI gene and control region.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 May; 31(2):630-46.MP
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the COI gene and the control region were used to examine the genetic population structure of Aglais urticae L. (Lepidoptera) over its entire geographic range, i.e., the Palaearctic. The phylogenetic relationships within and between A. urticae subspecies were determined and patterns of mtDNA divergence and ecological differentiation were compared. High gene flow together with a recent and sudden population expansion characterise the genetic population structure of this species. No geographically induced differentiation was observed, nor were subspecies identified as separate evolutionary units. The discrepancy between the genetic and ecological variation is most likely due to the slower rate of mtDNA evolution compared to ecological differentiation. The control region proved to be a less useful molecular marker for the population genetics and the phylogenetic reconstruction of closely related taxa in A. urticae than it has for other species. The extreme bias in adenine and thymine content (A+T=90.91%) probably renders this region highly susceptible to homoplasy, resulting in a less informative molecular marker.