New mitochondrial gene rearrangement in psyttalia concolor, p. humilis and p. lounsburyi (hymenoptera: braconidae), three parasitoid species of economic interest

Powell, Chante ; Caleca, Virgilio ; Rhode, Clint ; Da Costa, Luis Teixeira ; Van Asch, Barbara (2020-12-02)

CITATION: Powell, C., et al. 2020. New mitochondrial gene rearrangement in psyttalia concolor, p. humilis and p. lounsburyi (hymenoptera: braconidae), three parasitoid species of economic interest. Insects, 11(12):854, doi:10.3390/insects11120854.

The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.com

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund

Article

The family Braconidae consists mostly of specialized parasitoids, some of which hold potential in biocontrol of agricultural pests. Psyttalia concolor, Psyttalia humilis and Psyttalia lounsburyi are parasitoids associated with Bactrocera oleae, a major pest of cultivated olives. The native range of Psyttalia concolor is the Mediterranean, and P. humilis and P. lounsburyi are native to sub-Saharan Africa. This study reports the mitochondrial genomes of the three species, thus laying the foundation for mitogenomic analyses in the genus Psyttalia. Comparative mitogenomics within Braconidae showed a novel gene arrangement in Psyttalia in involving translocation and inversion of transfer RNA genes. The placement of Psyttalia in the subfamily Opiinae was well-supported, and the divergence between Psyttalia and its closest relative (Diachasmimorpha longicaudata) was at ~55 MYA [95% highest posterior density (HPD): 34–83 MYA]. Psyttalia lounsburyi occupied the most basal position among the three Psyttalia, having diverged from the other two species ~11 MYA (95% HPD: 6–17 MYA). Psyttalia concolor and P. humilis were recovered as sister species diverged at ~2 MYA (95% HPD: 1.1–3.6 MYA). This phylogeny combining new sequences and a set of 31 other cyclostomes and non-cyclostomes highlights the importance of a comprehensive taxonomic coverage of Braconidae mitogenomes to overcome the lack of robustness in the placement of several subfamilies.

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