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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular systematics and evolution of the "Apollo" butterflies of the genus Parnassius (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data.

Sequences of 777 bp of mtDNA-ND5 locus were determined in order to shed light on the molecular systematics and evolution of the "Apollo" butterflies. Examined were nearly all of about 50 species of the genus Parnassius, together with seven species of the allied genera in the subfamily Parnassiinae (Papilionidae). The NJ and the MP phylogenetic trees show that the "Apollos" constitute a monophyletic group, comprising a number of cluster groups probably reflecting a relatively rapid radiation in evolution. The clusters of species-groups denoted I-VIII correspond to those species-groups recognized on the basis of morphological characters. Our findings will also help understand the biological relationships among several species or subspecies on which the classical taxonomy is in dispute. The unexpected finding is that among the samples of allied genera compared, Hypermnestra helios appears to be the most closely related to the "Apollos", despite morphological and behavioral dissimilarity. Furthermore, in contrast to the previous higher taxonomy, Archon apollinus which is classified in the tribe Parnassiini was found genetically closer to the tribe Zerynthiini, raising a taxonomic controversy.[1]


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