Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists resolve the evolution of insects

07.11.2014

A collaboration of more than 100 researchers from 10 countries announce the results of an unprecedented scientific study that resolves the history of the evolution of insects. The results are published in Science, the world’s leading peer-reviewed research journal, and include answers to many long held questions about the evolutionary history of the world’s largest and most diverse group of organisms.

The results, published by scientists from the 1KITE project (1,000 Insect Transcriptome Evolution, www.1kite.org), are essential to understanding the millions of living insect species that shape our terrestrial living space and both support and threaten our natural resources.


Gold Wasp (Hedychrum nobile)

Copyright: Dr. Oliver Niehuis, ZFMK, Bonn


Greenhouse Camel Cricket (Diestrammena asynamora)

Copyright: Dr. Oliver Niehuis, ZFMK, Bonn

Embargoed: Not for release until 2:00 pm US Eastern time Thursday, 6 November

“Insects are the most species rich organisms on earth. They are of immense ecological, economic and medical importance and affect our daily lives, from pollinating our crops to vectoring diseases,” says Dr. Bernhard Misof, Professor from Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity (ZFMK) in Bonn, Germany, one of those who led the research effort. “We can only start to understand the enormous species richness and ecological importance of insects with a reliable reconstruction of how they are related.”

Using a dataset consisting of 144 carefully chosen species, 1KITE scientists present reliable estimates on the dates of origin and relationships of all major insect groups based on the enormous molecular dataset they collected. They show that insects originated at the same time as the earliest terrestrial plants about 480 million years ago. Their analyses therefore suggest that insects and plants shaped the earliest terrestrial ecosystems together, with insects developing wings to fly 400 million years ago, long before any other animal could do so, and at nearly the same time that land plants first grew substantially upwards to form forests.

“Phylogeny forms the foundation for telling us the who?, what?, when?, and why? of life,” says Dr. Karl Kjer, (Rutgers - State University of New Jersey, USA). “Many previously intractable questions are now resolved, while many of the “revolutions” brought about by previous analyses of smaller molecular datasets have contained errors that are now being corrected”.

The new reconstruction of the insect tree of life was only possible by a cooperation of more than 100 experts in molecular biology, insect morphology, paleontology, insect taxonomy, evolution, embryology bioinformatics and scientific computing. The consortium was led by Prof. Dr. Karl Kjer (Rutgers - State University of New Jersey, USA), Dr. Xin Zhou (Deputy Director of the China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen), and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Misof from the ZFMK.

“We wanted to promote research on the little-studied genetic diversity of insects,” says Dr. Xin Zhou, Deputy Director of the China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen in China, who initiated the project. “For applied research, it will become possible to comparatively analyze metabolic pathways of different insects and use this information to more specifically target pest species or insects that affect our resources. The genomic data we studied (the transcriptome – all of the expressed genes) gives us a very detailed and precise view into the genetic constitution and evolution of the species studied.”

However, the goal to analyze more than 1,000 insect transcriptomes, a set of all RNA molecules, posed a major challenge to the bioinformatics and scientific computing team within 1KITE. “During the planning phase of the project it became clear that the available software would not be able to handle the enormous amount of data,” relates Prof. Dr. Alexandros Stamatakis, head of the research group „Scientific Computing“ at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Professor for High Performance Computing at the life sciences of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT). “The development of novel software and algorithms to handle “big data” such as these, is another notable accomplishment of the 1KITE team, and lays a theoretical foundation for future analyses of other very large phylogenomic data sets.”

The 1KITE team’s diverse strengths and strong international cooperation, including museum repositories for vouchering of specimens, results, and meta data, is a blueprint for international excellence in research.

About 1KITE
The 1K (1000) Insect Transcriptome Evolution project (1KITE) has brought together internationally recognized experts in molecular biology, morphology, paleontology, embryology, bioinformatics, and scientific computing in a yet unparalleled way. For more information, visit www.1kite.org. 1KITE aims to study the transcriptomes (that is the entirety of expressed genes in an organism at time of collection) of more than 1,000 insect species encompassing all recognized insect orders. The resulting data allows for inferring a robust phylogenetic backbone tree of insects and will provide numerous additional insights into insect biology and evolution. Furthermore, the project includes the development of new software for data quality assessment and analysis.

About Science
Founded in 1880 by Thomas Edison and published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science ranks as the world's largest general science journal. Each week, Science provides more than 131,000 global subscribers with peer-reviewed original research, scientific research articles, science and research news, and more.

Source:

The publication „Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution“(authors: Bernhard Misof, Shanlin Liu, Karen Meusemann, Ralph S. Peters, Alexander Donath, Christoph Mayer, Paul B. Frandsen, Jessica Ware, Tomá Flouri, Rolf G. Beutel, Oliver Niehuis, Malte Petersen, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust, Andre J. Aberer, Ulrike Aspöck, Horst Aspöck, Daniela Bartel, Alexander Blanke, Simon Berger, Alexander Böhm, Thomas Buckley, Brett Calcott, Junqing Chen, Frank Friedrich, Makiko Fukui, Mari Fujita, Carola Greve, Peter Grobe, Shengchang Gu, Ying Huang, Lars S. Jermiin, Akito Y. Kawahara, Lars Krogmann, Martin Kubiak, Robert Lanfear, Harald Letsch, Yiyuan Li, Zhenyu Li, Jiguang Li, Haorong Lu, Ryuichiro Machida, Yuta Mashimo, Pashalia Kapli, Duane D. McKenna, Guanliang Meng, Yasutaka Nakagaki, José Luis Navarrete-Heredia, Michael Ott, Yanxiang Ou, Günther Pass, Lars Podsiadlowski, Hans Pohl, Björn M. von Reumont, Kai Schütte, Kaoru Sekiya, Shota Shimizu, Adam Slipinski, Alexandros Stamatakis, Wenhui Song, Xu Su, Nikolaus U. Szucsich, Meihua Tan, Xuemei Tan, Min Tang, Jingbo Tang, Gerald Timelthaler, Shigekazu Tomizuka, Michelle Trautwein, Xiaoli Tong, Toshiki Uchifune, Manfred G. Walzl, Brian M. Wiegmann, Jeanne Wilbrandt, Benjamin Wipfler, Thomas K. F. Wong, Qiong Wu, Gengxiong Wu, Yinlong Xie, Shenzhou Yang, Qing Yang, David K. Yeates, Kazunori Yoshizawa, Qing Zhang, Rui Zhang, Wenwei Zhang, Yunhui Zhang, Jing Zhao, Chengran Zhou, Lili Zhou, Tanja Ziesmann, Shijie Zou, Yingrui Li, Xun Xu, Yong Zhang, Huanming Yang, Jian Wang, Jun Wang, Karl M. Kjer, Xin Zhou) was published on November, 7th in the journal „Science“.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1257570
http://www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.1257570

Further Information

More information, including a copy of the paper, can be found online at the Science press package at http://www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/sci . You will need your user ID and password to access this information.

Media Contact

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Misof
Head of the Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research (ZMB) at Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn
Tel: 0049 228 9122-289
E-Mail: b.misof@zfmk.de

Sabine Heine
Tel: 0049 228 9122 215
E-Mail: s.heine@zfmk.de

www.zfmk.de

ZFMK: Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz-Institute for animal biodiversity is part of the Leibniz Association, a network of 89 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and scientific service facilities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic- and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance while striving to find scientific solutions for major social challenges. More information: http://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/ .


Weitere Informationen:

http://www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.1257570

Sabine Heine | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Millions through license revenues

27.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today

27.04.2017 | Information Technology

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>