Phylogeny and temporal diversification of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) with an emphasis on the Neotropical fauna

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Understanding phylogenetic relationships within the family Culicidae informs mosquito evolution and may have public health implications as this family includes numerous species of medical and veterinary importance. We investigated the mitochondrial genomes of 102 mosquitoes, including six newly sequenced species, representing 21 genera with an emphasis on the Neotropical region. We estimated divergence times based on sequence data and three fossil calibration points, using Bayesian relaxed clock methods. Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses based on the DNA sequences of 13 PCGs of the 102 species provided robust support for the monophyly of the subfamily Anophelinae and the tribes Aedini, Culicini, Mansoniini and Sabethini. Despite the current genera of Anophelinae being consistently recovered as monophyletic, relationships among them proved to be quite variable depending on the method used (concatenated or partitioned) and the number of taxa sampled. Molecular divergence time estimates revealed that the two mosquito subfamilies, Anophelinae and Culicinae, diverged in the early Jurassic (approximately 197.5 Mya). However, most major lineages of these groups arose after the Cretaceous, coincident with the emergence of angiosperms and the expansion of mammals and birds. The diversification and worldwide distribution of Culicidae may also be determined in part by geographic isolation as a result of continental drift during the Cretaceous.
Lorenz C, Alves JM.P., Foster PG., Suesdek L, Sallum MAM.. Phylogeny and temporal diversification of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) with an emphasis on the Neotropical fauna. Syst. Entomol.. 2021 Oct;46(4):798-811. doi:10.1111/syen.12489.
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