Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-275
Title: Unlocking the "black box": Internal female genitalia in Sepsidae (Diptera) evolve fast and are species-specific
Authors: Puniamoorthy, N. 
Kotrba, M.
Meier, R. 
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Puniamoorthy, N., Kotrba, M., Meier, R. (2010). Unlocking the "black box": Internal female genitalia in Sepsidae (Diptera) evolve fast and are species-specific. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10 (1) : -. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-275
Abstract: Background. The species-specificity of male genitalia has been well documented in many insect groups and sexual selection has been proposed as the evolutionary force driving the often rapid, morphological divergence. The internal female genitalia, in sharp contrast, remain poorly studied. Here, we present the first comparative study of the internal reproductive system of Sepsidae. We test the species-specificity of the female genitalia by comparing recently diverged sister taxa. We also compare the rate of change in female morphological characters with the rate of fast-evolving, molecular and behavioral characters. Results. We describe the ectodermal parts of the female reproductive tract for 41 species representing 21 of the 37 described genera and define 19 morphological characters with discontinuous variation found in eight structures that are part of the reproductive tract. Using a well-resolved molecular phylogeny based on 10 genes, we reconstruct the evolution of these characters across the family [120 steps; Consistency Index (CI): 0.41]. Two structures, in particular, evolve faster than the rest. The first is the ventral receptacle, which is a secondary sperm storage organ. It accounts for more than half of all the evolutionary changes observed (7 characters; 61 steps; CI: 0.46). It is morphologically diverse across genera, can be bi-lobed or multi-chambered (up to 80 chambers), and is strongly sclerotized in one clade. The second structure is the dorsal sclerite, which is present in all sepsids except Orygma luctuosum and Ortalischema albitarse. It is associated with the opening of the spermathecal ducts and is often distinct even among sister species (4 characters; 16 steps; CI: 0.56). Conclusions. We find the internal female genitalia are diverse in Sepsidae and diagnostic for all species. In particular, fast-evolving structures like the ventral receptacle and dorsal sclerite are likely involved in post-copulatory sexual selection. In comparison to behavioral and molecular data, the female structures are evolving 2/3 as fast as the non-constant third positions of the COI barcoding gene. They display less convergent evolution in characters (CI = 0.54) than the third positions or sepsid mating behavior (CICOI= 0.36; CIBEHAV= 0.45). © 2010 Puniamoorthy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Source Title: BMC Evolutionary Biology
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/102114
ISSN: 14712148
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-275
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