The dynamics and the timeline of speciation in the gall-forming aphid Geoica spp. within and among Pistacia host tree species

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Abstract

Trees of the genus Pistacia serve as obligate hosts for gall-forming aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Fordini). Each aphid species induces a characteristic gall on a single Pistacia host species. The genus Geoica (Fordini) induce similar spherical closed galls on the lower side of the leaflet's midvein, on different Pistacia species. Two species of Pistacia trees that harbor Geoica galls grow naturally in Israel: P. palaestina and P. atlantica. We analyzed the phylogeny and the genetic structure of the Geoica species complex in Israel, and assessed the genetic differentiation and the level of host plant specificity of the aphids between P. atlantica and P. palaestina. We found that the splitting of the genus between P. atlantica and P. palaestina is estimated to have occurred 24–25 Ma (the Oligocene/Miocene boundary). Five different haplotypes suggesting five different species have been further speciating among Geoica spp., galling on P. atlantica, and an additional three species, on P. palaestina.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107549
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume174
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank MOFET Institute for financial support and the students of Molecular Ecology workshop for their help. We would like to express our thanks to the anonymous referees, whose helpful suggestions contributed significantly to this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Gall-forming aphids
  • Geoica spp.
  • Haplotype
  • Speciation
  • Timeline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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