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2014 Abstracts

Phylogeny of Heptageniidae Through Molecular Analysis

Jeffrey Leavitt, Utah Valley University

Life Sciences

Central Research Question: Heptageniidae is a large family within the order Ephemeroptera (mayflies). This family consists of over 500 described species. Recently a study was done across 200 of the species to break them up into subfamilies, and genera. The studied concluded that there are 29 genera and three subfamilies Ecdyonurinae, Heptageniinae, and Rhithrogeninae (Wang, 2004). Furthermore, Ogden et al. (2009) proposed that the families Arthropleidae and Pseudironidae were derived heptageniid lineages. The phylogenetic relationships of Heptageniidae, Arthropleidae, Pseudironidae, to other closely related families are inconclusive. We propose to study these three families and the three subfamilies of Heptageniidae in detail via molecular systematics.
Objective: My objectives are to 1) generate molecular data for these insect groups in order to reconstruct a phylogenetic tree; 2) elucidate the relationships of the families Heptageniidae, Arthropleiidae, and Pseudironidae; and 3) test the monophyly of the subfamilies within the Heptageniidae.
Methods: The specimens were acquired from collection efforts and colleagues. For each specimen the following laboratory procedures were carried out: DNA extraction, gene amplification via polymerase chain reaction, visualization via gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing. The genes targeted for sequencing included 12S mitochondrial rDNA, 16S mitochondrial rDNA, 18S nuclear rDNA, 28S nuclear rDNA, H3 nuclear protein coding, CO1 mitochondrial protein coding, and EF1-alpha rDNA. Taxon sampling consisted of around 37 ingroup and 5 outgroup taxa. Phylogenetic relationships were estimated using Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood, and Baysian methods.
Conclusion: The results strongly supported that Pseudiron and Arthroplea nested within the family Heptageniidae, and therefore should be reclassified as heptagenid genera, instead of their own families. The monophyly of the subfamilies was not as conclusion and further investigation, with more taxon sampling is needed.