The rapid increase in the number of mitochondrial genomes in public databases provides opportunities for insect phylogenetic studies; but it also provides challenges because of gene rearrangements and variable substitution rates among both lineages and sites. Typically, phylogenetic studies use mitochondrial sequence data but exclude other features of the mitochondrial genome from analyses. Here, we undertook large-scale sequencing of mitochondrial genomes from a worldwide collection of specimens belonging to Braconidae, one of the largest families of Metazoa. The strand-asymmetry of base composition in the mitochondrial genomes of braconids is reversed, providing evidence for monophyly of the Braconidae. We have reconstructed a backbone phylogeny of the major lineages of Braconidae from gene order of the mitochondrial genomes. Standard phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequences provided strong support for both Cyclostomes and Noncyclostomes. Four subfamily complexes, that is, helconoid, euphoroid, sigalphoid, and microgastroid, within the Noncyclostomes were reconstructed robustly, the first three of which formed a monophyletic group sister to the last one. Aphidiinae was recovered as a lineage sister to other groups of Cyclostomes, while the Ichneutinae was recovered as paraphyletic. Separate analyses of the subdivided groups showed congruent relationships, employing different matrices and methods, for the internal nodes of the Cyclostomes and the microgastroid complex of subfamilies. This research, using multiple lines of evidence from mitochondrial genomes, illustrates multiple uses of mitochondrial genomes for phylogenetic inference in Braconidae.

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Published in Genome Biology and Evolution, v. 8, issue 9, p. 2651-2662.

© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com

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This study was supported by the State Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant number 31230068), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant numbers 31401996, 31472025, 31101661), the NSFC Innovative Research Groups (Grant number 31021003), and the 973 Program (Grant number 2013CB127600).

evw184_Supplementary_Data.zip (2027 kB)
Supplementary Data