Plant host relationships of three lineages of the gall-inducing fly Fergusonina Malloch (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) on Eucalyptus L’He´rit

Purcell, Michaela F., Thornhill, Andrew, Wallenius, Thomas C., Yeates, David, and Rowell, David M. (2018) Plant host relationships of three lineages of the gall-inducing fly Fergusonina Malloch (Diptera: Fergusoninidae) on Eucalyptus L’He´rit. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 12 (1). pp. 133-145.

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The gall-inducing fly family Fergusoninidae, in association with a mutualist nematode, induces galls on Myrtaceae. Each fly species typically targets a particular site on its host plant, giving rise to a range of gall types, and one plant species may host at least four fly species. While incongruent fly–host evolutionary time scales preclude early cospeciation, it is possible that Fergusoninidae have been diverging with their host plants more recently at correspondingly finer taxonomic levels, such as within host subgenera. To test this possibility, we reduced the scale of our analysis and focussed on a clade of ten Eucalyptus species, sampling intensively and using a phylogenetic approach to compare the relationships between these plant hosts and their associated flies. We also took advantage of the fact that three different gall types, each with its own clade of Fergusonina flies, could be sampled on this focal host clade, in effect giving us three different host/fly association tests on the one set of hosts. The phylogenies of flies from the three different gall types were estimated using Bayesian analysis of mtCOI sequences and compared with an existing phylogeny of the eucalypt host clade. While each gall type showed a different pattern of host relationships, heuristic and quantitative analyses showed that there was little correspondence between plant and fly phylogenies and we conclude that host switching is prevalent in this system. There was more host fidelity in the flower bud gallers on this group of eucalypts, and there was least in the leaf blade gallers, with the shoot bud gallers demonstrating an intermediate level of host fidelity. We discuss the possible factors which may have led to their patterns of host association. This is the first study of Fergusonina to focus on one clade of Eucalyptus L’Hérit. (Myrtaceae) with intensive sampling and shows that each host plant species is commonly used by multiple fergusoninid species. This has provided us with the opportunity to study in detail the host relationships of three separate clades of Fergusonina from different plant tissue types, and has revealed many previously unrecorded host plant/gall site associations.

Item ID: 52072
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-8847
Keywords: coevolution, bayesian phylogenetics, diptera, Fergusonina, eucalyptus
Funders: Schlinger Foundation
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2018 04:58
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310403 Biological adaptation @ 60%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310410 Phylogeny and comparative analysis @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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