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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Research Project #442074

Research Project: Bees of the World - Phylogenomics, Biogeography, and Evolution of Host-Plant Associations

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Project Number: 2080-21000-019-049-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 15, 2022
End Date: Aug 15, 2023

Objective:
Investigate the phylogenetics, systematics, and taxonomy of bees in the U.S. and globally to improve baseline knowledge of bee biodiversity and to study their evolution. Use phylogenetic results to elucidate bee biogeography and co-evolutionary patterns between bees and host plants. Test different methods for generating genome-scale molecular data for use in bee systematics research.

Approach:
Aim 1) Global bee phylogeny and classification: A comprehensive phylogenomic dataset for bees that incorporates all major lineages will be generated. Most of the 518 known bee genera will be sequenced for low coverage genomes (LCGs), providing a robust backbone, and up to 3,000 additional bee species will be sequenced for ultraconserved elements (UCEs), aiming to cover the geographic and morphological breadth of global bee diversity. The resulting phylogeny will provide a robust framework to address the aims below and to establish a stable higher-level classification of bees. Aim 2) Global bee biogeography: Using the bee phylogeny from Aim 1), information on bee fossils and geography will be compiled to (a) infer a time-calibrated phylogeny for bees and (b) explore global bee biogeography. For the latter component, extinct taxa as tips/terminals will be incorporated into analyses and several outstanding questions in bee biogeography and insect biogeography generally will be addressed.