The mode of pheromone evolution: evidence from bark beetles

Symonds, Matthew R. E. and Elgar, Mark A. 2004, The mode of pheromone evolution: evidence from bark beetles, Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences, vol. 271, no. 1541, pp. 839-846, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2647.

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Title The mode of pheromone evolution: evidence from bark beetles
Author(s) Symonds, Matthew R. E.ORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew R. E.
Elgar, Mark A.
Journal name Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Volume number 271
Issue number 1541
Start page 839
End page 846
Total pages 8
Publisher The Royal Society
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2004-04-22
ISSN 0962-8452
Keyword(s) Scolytidae
aggregation pheromones
computer simulation
saltational evolution
Summary Sex and aggregation pheromones consist of species-specific blends of chemicals. The way in which different species’ blends have evolved has been the subject of some debate. Theoretical predictions suggest that differences between species have arisen not through the accruing of small changes, but through major shifts in chemical composition. Using data on the aggregation pheromones of 34 species of bark beetle from two genera, Dendroctonus and Ips, we investigated how the distributions of the chemical components of their pheromone blends mirror their phylogenetic relationships. We tested whether there were consistent patterns that could be used to help elucidate the mode of pheromone evolution. Although there were obvious differences in pheromone blends between the two genera, the differences between species within each genus followed a less clear phylogenetic pattern. In both genera, closely related species are just as different as more distantly related species. Within Dendroctonus, particularly, most chemical components were distributed randomly across the phylogeny. Indeed, for some chemicals, closely related species may actually be more different than would be expected from a random distribution of chemical components. This argues strongly against the idea of minor shifts in pheromone evolution. Instead, we suggest that, within certain phylogenetic constraints, pheromone evolution in bark beetles is characterized by large saltational shifts, resulting in sibling species being substantially phenotypically (i.e. pheromonally) different from one another, thus agreeing with theoretical predictions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2003.2647
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060808 Invertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, The Royal Society
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