Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Neotropical nasutes genera (Isoptera, Termitidae), based on molecular evidence and worker gut characters
Adriana Carolina Cuezzo, Adriana Carolina Cuezzo , Eliana Marques Cancello
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Nazaré, 481, CEP 04263-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Nazaré, 481, CEP 04263-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil ; Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Nazaré, 481, CEP 04263-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Termites play essential functional roles in a wide range of ecosystems, favoring soil aeration, nutrient cycling, and symbiotic interactions. Nasutitermitinae is a well-established monophyletic subfamily of Termitidae, easily reconigzed by the nasute soldier caste. Nowadays, 81 genera and more than 600 species are registered worldwide, representing about a quarter of the termite diversity. Recent molecular phylogenetic hypotheses supported an African origin, with some lineages reaching the Neotropics postdating the breakup of Pangaea and Gondwana. Undoubtedly, the evolutionary success of the nasute termites in the Neotropics is still far from being fully understood. Considering this, we infer the evolutionary relationships of Neotropical nasutes genera, based on two mitochondrial and one nuclear genes for an extending ingroup (Agnathotermes, Angularitermes, Anhangatermes, Araujotermes, Atlantitermes, Caetetermes, Caribitermes, Coatitermes, Coendutermes, Constrictotermes, Convexitermes, Cyranotermes, Diversitermes, Ereymatermes, Paraconvexitermes, Parvitermes, Tiunatermes, Sandsitermes, Sinqasapatermes, Subulitermes, Triangularitermes, Velocitermes), trying to complete some blanks of molecular studies in recent termite literature, concerning the Neotropical taxa. Ampliﬁcations were carried out at the Museu de Zoologia de São Paulo (SP, Brazil), and sequencing was conducted at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil). Analyses under parsimony and model-based criteria with different partition schemes are still ongoing. The resultant phylogenetic trees will be then used to reconstruct evolutionary pattern of worker guts characters. Some interesting insides were revealed thus far in a first approach (e.g. the Subulitermes and Nasutitermes groups are not natural lineages; Sandsitermes is not related to Nasutitermes; Araujotermes is a monophyletic genus).