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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research » Research » Research Project #424512

Research Project: Taxonomic Revision of Aphelinus Species of the World Using Advanced Bioinformatics and Molecular Methods

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
(1) Revise all Aphelinus species of the World and compile a matrix of anatomical characters; ( 2) Construct multiple-entry and dichotomous keys for identification of all species; (3) Use next-generation DNA sequencing to produce large numbers of phylogenetically informative characters; (4) Conduct phylogenetic analysis using morphological and molecular data.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
We will describe or redescribe species by building a matrix of anatomical characters scored for all species, morphotypes, and outgroup taxa. We will produce digital images documenting coloration and structural characters. We will construct multiple-entry and dichotomous keys for all species. We will sequence and assemble reference genomes and reduced representation libraries to produce large numbers of phylogenetically informative characters. We will conduct phylogenetic analyses using selected morphological characters and sequence data to provide a phylogenetic framework for the classification and as a basis for species recognition. We will conduct crossing studies for entities that are difficult to distinguish but represent separate phylogenetic lineages. All data will be deposited in public repositories including the MX system, Morphbank, GenBank, GBIF and EoL.

3. Progress Report:
Continued revision of the systematics of APHELINUS, for which we received funding from a National Science Foundation grant. We have sequenced DNA libraries for 42 populations in 11 species of APHELINUS and are now analyzing these data for single nucleotide polymorphisms to generate phylogenetic trees.

4. Accomplishments