Co-phylogeny of a hyper-symbiotic system: Endosymbiotic bacteria (Gammaproteobacteria), chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) and birds (Passeriformes)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2024
Authors:A. A. Grossi, Tian, C., Ren, M., Zou, F., Gustafsson, D. R.
Journal:Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Date Published:Jan-01-2024

Chewing lice are hosts to endosymbiotic bacteria as well as themselves being permanent parasites. This offers a unique opportunity to examine the cophylogenetic relationships between three ecologically interconnected organismal groups: birds, chewing lice, and bacteria. Here, we examine the cophylogenetic relationships between lice in the genus Guimaraesiella Eichler, 1949, their endosymbiotic Sodalis-allied bacteria, and a range of bird species from across South China. Both event and distance-based cophylogenetic analyses were explored to compare phylogenies of the three organismal groups. Pair-wise comparisons between lice-endosymbionts and bird-endosymbionts indicated that their evolutionary histories are not independent. However, comparisons between lice and birds, showed mixed results; the distance-based method of ParaFit indicated that their evolutionary histories are not independent, while the event-based method of Jane indicated that their phylogenies were no more congruent than expected by chance. Notably, louse host-switching does not seem to have affected bacterial strains, as conspecific lice sampled from distantly related hosts share bacteria belonging to the same clade.

File attachments: 
Thu, 2023-11-16 16:59 -- Yokb
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith