The many ways to delimit species: hairs, genes and surface chemistry

Perttu Seppä, Heikki Oskari Helanterä, Kalevi Trontti, Pekka Punttila, Anton Chernenko, Stephen J. Martin, Liselotte Sundström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Species identification forms the basis for understanding the diversity of the living world, but it is also a prerequisite for understanding many evolutionary patterns and processes. The most promising approach for correctly delimiting and identifying species is to integrate many types of information in the same study. Our aim was to test how cuticular hydro- carbons, traditional morphometrics, genetic polymorphisms in nuclear markers (allozymes and DNA microsatellites) and DNA barcoding (partial mitochondrial COI gene) perform in delimiting species. As an example, we used two closely related Formica ants, F. fusca and F. lemani, sampled from a sympatric population in the northern part of their distribu- tion. Morphological characters vary and overlap in different parts of their distribution areas, but cuticular hydrocarbons include a strong taxonomic signal and our aim is to test the degree to which morphological and genetic data correspond to the chemical data. In the morphological analysis, species were best separated by the combined number of hairs on pro- notum and mesonotum, but individual workers overlapped in hair numbers, as previously noted by several authors. Nests of the two species were separated but not clustered according to species in a Principal Component Analysis made on nuclear genetic data. However, model-based Bayesian clustering resulted in perfect separation of the species and gave no indication of hybridization. Furthermore, F. lemani and F. fusca did not share any mitochondrial haplotypes, and the species were perfectly separated in a phylogenetic tree. We conclude that F. fusca and F. lemani are valid species that can be separated in our study area relatively well with all methods employed. However, the unusually small genetic differen- tiation in nuclear markers (FST = 0.12) shows that they are closely related, and occasional hybridization between F. fusca and F. lemani cannot be ruled out.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMyrmecological news
Volume15
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
ISSN1994-4136
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

Cite this

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title = "The many ways to delimit species: hairs, genes and surface chemistry",
abstract = "Species identification forms the basis for understanding the diversity of the living world, but it is also a prerequisite for understanding many evolutionary patterns and processes. The most promising approach for correctly delimiting and identifying species is to integrate many types of information in the same study. Our aim was to test how cuticular hydro- carbons, traditional morphometrics, genetic polymorphisms in nuclear markers (allozymes and DNA microsatellites) and DNA barcoding (partial mitochondrial COI gene) perform in delimiting species. As an example, we used two closely related Formica ants, F. fusca and F. lemani, sampled from a sympatric population in the northern part of their distribu- tion. Morphological characters vary and overlap in different parts of their distribution areas, but cuticular hydrocarbons include a strong taxonomic signal and our aim is to test the degree to which morphological and genetic data correspond to the chemical data. In the morphological analysis, species were best separated by the combined number of hairs on pro- notum and mesonotum, but individual workers overlapped in hair numbers, as previously noted by several authors. Nests of the two species were separated but not clustered according to species in a Principal Component Analysis made on nuclear genetic data. However, model-based Bayesian clustering resulted in perfect separation of the species and gave no indication of hybridization. Furthermore, F. lemani and F. fusca did not share any mitochondrial haplotypes, and the species were perfectly separated in a phylogenetic tree. We conclude that F. fusca and F. lemani are valid species that can be separated in our study area relatively well with all methods employed. However, the unusually small genetic differen- tiation in nuclear markers (FST = 0.12) shows that they are closely related, and occasional hybridization between F. fusca and F. lemani cannot be ruled out.",
keywords = "1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology",
author = "Perttu Sepp{\"a} and Helanter{\"a}, {Heikki Oskari} and Kalevi Trontti and Pekka Punttila and Anton Chernenko and Martin, {Stephen J.} and Liselotte Sundstr{\"o}m",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "31--41",
journal = "Myrmecological news",
issn = "1994-4136",
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The many ways to delimit species: hairs, genes and surface chemistry. / Seppä, Perttu; Helanterä, Heikki Oskari; Trontti, Kalevi; Punttila, Pekka; Chernenko, Anton; Martin, Stephen J.; Sundström, Liselotte.

In: Myrmecological news, Vol. 15, 2011, p. 31-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The many ways to delimit species: hairs, genes and surface chemistry

AU - Seppä, Perttu

AU - Helanterä, Heikki Oskari

AU - Trontti, Kalevi

AU - Punttila, Pekka

AU - Chernenko, Anton

AU - Martin, Stephen J.

AU - Sundström, Liselotte

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Species identification forms the basis for understanding the diversity of the living world, but it is also a prerequisite for understanding many evolutionary patterns and processes. The most promising approach for correctly delimiting and identifying species is to integrate many types of information in the same study. Our aim was to test how cuticular hydro- carbons, traditional morphometrics, genetic polymorphisms in nuclear markers (allozymes and DNA microsatellites) and DNA barcoding (partial mitochondrial COI gene) perform in delimiting species. As an example, we used two closely related Formica ants, F. fusca and F. lemani, sampled from a sympatric population in the northern part of their distribu- tion. Morphological characters vary and overlap in different parts of their distribution areas, but cuticular hydrocarbons include a strong taxonomic signal and our aim is to test the degree to which morphological and genetic data correspond to the chemical data. In the morphological analysis, species were best separated by the combined number of hairs on pro- notum and mesonotum, but individual workers overlapped in hair numbers, as previously noted by several authors. Nests of the two species were separated but not clustered according to species in a Principal Component Analysis made on nuclear genetic data. However, model-based Bayesian clustering resulted in perfect separation of the species and gave no indication of hybridization. Furthermore, F. lemani and F. fusca did not share any mitochondrial haplotypes, and the species were perfectly separated in a phylogenetic tree. We conclude that F. fusca and F. lemani are valid species that can be separated in our study area relatively well with all methods employed. However, the unusually small genetic differen- tiation in nuclear markers (FST = 0.12) shows that they are closely related, and occasional hybridization between F. fusca and F. lemani cannot be ruled out.

AB - Species identification forms the basis for understanding the diversity of the living world, but it is also a prerequisite for understanding many evolutionary patterns and processes. The most promising approach for correctly delimiting and identifying species is to integrate many types of information in the same study. Our aim was to test how cuticular hydro- carbons, traditional morphometrics, genetic polymorphisms in nuclear markers (allozymes and DNA microsatellites) and DNA barcoding (partial mitochondrial COI gene) perform in delimiting species. As an example, we used two closely related Formica ants, F. fusca and F. lemani, sampled from a sympatric population in the northern part of their distribu- tion. Morphological characters vary and overlap in different parts of their distribution areas, but cuticular hydrocarbons include a strong taxonomic signal and our aim is to test the degree to which morphological and genetic data correspond to the chemical data. In the morphological analysis, species were best separated by the combined number of hairs on pro- notum and mesonotum, but individual workers overlapped in hair numbers, as previously noted by several authors. Nests of the two species were separated but not clustered according to species in a Principal Component Analysis made on nuclear genetic data. However, model-based Bayesian clustering resulted in perfect separation of the species and gave no indication of hybridization. Furthermore, F. lemani and F. fusca did not share any mitochondrial haplotypes, and the species were perfectly separated in a phylogenetic tree. We conclude that F. fusca and F. lemani are valid species that can be separated in our study area relatively well with all methods employed. However, the unusually small genetic differen- tiation in nuclear markers (FST = 0.12) shows that they are closely related, and occasional hybridization between F. fusca and F. lemani cannot be ruled out.

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 31

EP - 41

JO - Myrmecological news

JF - Myrmecological news

SN - 1994-4136

ER -