Psocodea (booklice and parasitic lice) is an order of insects containing species with extensive mitochondrial genome rearrangements, particularly within the suborder Troctomorpha, in which some species possess an extremely fragmented mitochondrial genome with several small minichromosomes. In the remaining suborders of Psocodea, there are groups with the ancestral pancrustacean arrangement, quite extensive rearrangements (e.g. Trogiomorpha), or in which the small number of species analysed to date have rearrangements of only a few protein-coding genes and/or tRNAs (e.g. Psocomorpha). Despite the apparent high rate of rearrangements in the order as a whole, a small number of complete mitochondrial genomes are available, especially for suborder Psocomorpha, the largest free-living suborder. To understand the evolution of the gene arrangement of the mitochondrial genome within Psocomorpha and its phylogenetic implications, we assembled and analysed the mitochondrial genomes of 33 species of bark lice belonging to nine families in two infraorders. Within the infraorder Homilopsocidea, four families were analysed, mainly from Lachesillidae (which included 22 species of this family). Within the infraorder Caeciliusetae, seven species representing five families were analysed. Mitochondrial gene rearrangements were identified in seven of the nine families. Some of these rearrangements were unique to a single species, while some contained phylogenetic signal, being shared by related species. These rearrangements typically corresponded to transpositions and inversions of tRNAs, possibly caused by tandem duplication–random loss (TDRL) and/or recombination events. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial gene sequences provided phylogenetic resolution for several branches of the tree, including monophyly of Lachesillinae. The genus Hemicaecilius Enderlein was found to be embedded within the genus Lachesilla Westwood, rending the latter paraphyletic. Monophyly was also never recovered for Lachesillidae and Elipsocidae as currently defined. However, instability was observed for some higher level relationships within Psocomorpha, including the relationships among the major clades of Lachesillidae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science