Aligned 18S for Zoraptera (Insecta): Phylogenetic position and molecular evolution

Kazunori Yoshizawa, Kevin P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The order Zoraptera (angel insects) is one of the least known insect groups, containing only 32 extant species. The phylogenetic position of Zoraptera is poorly understood, but it is generally thought to be closely related to either Paraneoptera (hemipteroid orders: booklice, lice, thrips, and bugs), Dictyoptera (blattoid orders: cockroaches, termites, and mantis), or Embioptera (web spinners). We inferred the phylogenetic position of Zoraptera by analyzing nuclear 18S rDNA sequences, which we aligned according to a secondary structure model. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses both supported a close relationship between Zoraptera and Dictyoptera with relatively high posterior probability. The 18S sequences of Zoraptera exhibited several unusual properties: (1) a dramatically increased substitution rate, which resulted in very long branches; (2) long insertions at helix E23; and (3) modifications of secondary structures at helices 12 and 18.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-580
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • 18S rDNA
  • Molecular evolution
  • Phylogeny
  • Secondary structure based alignment
  • Zoraptera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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