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Ancestral origins of South American diversity: integrating phylogenetics and biogeography for the understanding of the diversification processes in Tanypodinae (Diptera: Chironomidae)

Abstract

Although there is no consensus among the many hypotheses proposed to explain the global increase in species richness towards the Equator, the latitudinal gradient of diversity can generally be attributed to the time of colonization of a specific clade in a certain region, diversification rates and biogeographic processes, such as dispersion or vicariance. In this context, the dipterans of the subfamily Tanypodinae offers a unique opportunity to investigate the function of these components in the dynamic of diversification, both by the great species and habitat diversity and by its low vagility and evolutionary plasticity. Moreover, the relatively ancient origin attributed to the ancestors of the group, and supported by fossils, allows their lineages and evolutionary history to be traced globally through the main plate tectonic events. However, these aquatic insects are undersampled and taxonomically poorly known, and there are no inventories of distribution and habitat for them. Thus, the lack of knowledge of such diverse and unexplored fauna is the main stimulus for the present study, which will address four perspectives that includes the various components to be investigated: evolutionary, taxonomical, biogeographic and paleontological. The first purposes to expand the phylogenetic knowledge of Tanypodinae by proposing a molecular phylogenetic hypothesis based on specific regions of the genome generated a priori using Anchored Hybrid Enrichment (AHE). The taxonomic component aims at the discovery and description of new species, including molecular analysis as additional tools to morphology. While the biogeographic component aims to comprehend how the latitudinal diversity gradient is driven by the joint contribution of the processes of diversification, dispersal and vicariance, using as a model organism species of Ablabesmyia Johannsen (Chironomidae, Tanypodinae), a cosmopolitan group and widely distributed throughout the South American Continent. Finally, the paleontological component will focus the evolution of the mouthparts and hematophagy in Tanypodinae, and its influence on adaptive processes that promote diversification. The use of aquatic insects in studies involving biological processes, such as dispersal, speciation, extinction and vicariance, is unprecedented for the region. Furthermore, the complex life cycle of these organisms distinguishes them from exclusively aquatic or terrestrial life forms, which generates a differentiated potential for understanding ecological gradients. Therefore, the present proposal will help to establish a research group of integrative research new from Latin American focused on understanding of the mechanisms, which originated the diversity of aquatic insect fauna in the Neotropical Region. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SHIMABUKURO, ERIKA MAYUMI; DA SILVA, FABIO LAURINDO; PEPINELLI, MATEUS; TRIVINHO-STRIXINO, SUSANA; EINICKER LAMAS, CARLOS JOSE. A new species of Parochlus (Diptera: Chironomidae) reveals intriguing features of larva at the oldest South American highlands. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, v. N/A, p. 9-pg., . (18/11068-9, 16/07039-8, 19/25567-0)
HAMERLIK, L.; SILVA, F. L.; MASSAFERRO, J.. n illustrated guide of subfossil Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) from waterbodies of Central America and the Yucatan Peninsul. JOURNAL OF PALEOLIMNOLOGY, v. 67, n. 3, p. 201-258, . (21/08464-2, 19/25567-0, 16/07039-8, 18/01507-5)

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