Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps

Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde, Niklas Wikström, Karl M. Kjer, George D Weiblen, Jean Yves Rasplus, Carlos A. Machado, James M. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Figs and fig-pollinating wasps are obligate mutualists that have coevolved for over 60 million years. But when and where did pollinating fig wasps (Agaonidae) originate? Some studies suggest that agaonids arose in the Late Cretaceous and the current distribution of fig-wasp faunas can be explained by the break-up of the Gondwanan landmass. However, recent molecular-dating studies suggest divergence time estimates that are inconsistent with the Gondwanan vicariance hypothesis and imply that long distance oceanic dispersal could have been an important process for explaining the current distribution of both figs and fig wasps. Here, we use a combination of phylogenetic and biogeographical data to infer the age, the major period of diversification, and the geographic origin of pollinating fig wasps. Age estimates ranged widely depending on the molecular-dating method used and even when using the same method but with slightly different constraints, making it difficult to assess with certainty a Gondwanan origin of agaonids. The reconstruction of ancestral areas suggests that the most recent common ancestor of all extant fig-pollinating wasps was most likely Asian, although a southern Gondwana origin cannot be rejected. Our analysis also suggests that dispersal has played a more important role in the development of the fig-wasp biota than previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-726
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

Fingerprint

Agaonidae
Ficus
Wasps
figs
pollinating insects
wasp
biogeography
pollination
vicariance
dating method
provenance
common ancestry
dating
Biota
ancestry
Gondwana
biota
fauna
divergence
Cretaceous

Keywords

  • Agaonidae
  • Bayesian molecular clock
  • Divergence times
  • Dominican amber
  • Ficus
  • Plant-insect interactions

Cite this

Lopez-Vaamonde, C., Wikström, N., Kjer, K. M., Weiblen, G. D., Rasplus, J. Y., Machado, C. A., & Cook, J. M. (2009). Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 52(3), 715-726. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2009.05.028

Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps. / Lopez-Vaamonde, Carlos; Wikström, Niklas; Kjer, Karl M.; Weiblen, George D; Rasplus, Jean Yves; Machado, Carlos A.; Cook, James M.

In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 52, No. 3, 01.09.2009, p. 715-726.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lopez-Vaamonde, C, Wikström, N, Kjer, KM, Weiblen, GD, Rasplus, JY, Machado, CA & Cook, JM 2009, 'Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps', Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 715-726. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2009.05.028
Lopez-Vaamonde C, Wikström N, Kjer KM, Weiblen GD, Rasplus JY, Machado CA et al. Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2009 Sep 1;52(3):715-726. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2009.05.028
Lopez-Vaamonde, Carlos ; Wikström, Niklas ; Kjer, Karl M. ; Weiblen, George D ; Rasplus, Jean Yves ; Machado, Carlos A. ; Cook, James M. / Molecular dating and biogeography of fig-pollinating wasps. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2009 ; Vol. 52, No. 3. pp. 715-726.
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