Phylogeny of the genus Rhagoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae) inferred from DNA sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1997 Feb; 7(1):33-43.MP
Despite a considerable literature describing the biology of flies in the tephritid genus Rhagoletis, the phylogenetic relationships of the more than 60 species classified within the genus are not well resolved. Knowledge of these relationships is important, not only in terms of obtaining information that will be useful for the control of Rhagoletis where it is an agricultural pest, but also in determining what role host plant shifts have played in the generation of Rhagoletis species diversity, a focal point in debate over the role of sympatric speciation in the evolutionary process. In this paper, the phylogenetic history of 28 Rhagoletis species and 6 species in related tephritid genera is inferred from nucleotide sequences of subunit II of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COII) gene and the adjacent tRNALeu/COII intergenic region. Analyses of the data using distance and character-state approaches suggest the following: (i) the genus Rhagoletis as currently defined is not monophyletic; (ii) the 5 predominantly North American Rhagoletis species groups do constitute a monophyletic assemblage; (iii) the North American species groups form 2 clades, 1 consisting of taxa in the R. pomonella and R. tabellaria species groups (plus R. fausta), and the other consisting of taxa in the R. ribicola, R. cingulata, and R. suavis species groups; and (iv) the origin(s) of the North American species groups is obscure, as evidenced by the recovery of clades containing both Palearctic and Neotropical taxa. Areas of congruence and conflict with published phylogenies of Rhagoletis are examined and, while many areas of conflict may be due to an insufficient number of characters or incomplete taxon sampling, we cannot discount the possibility that real differences exist between the Rhagoletis mitochondrial DNA gene tree and the Rhagoletis species tree.