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The Impact of Molecular Data on Our Understanding of Bee Phylogeny and Evolution.

Danforth, B.N., Cardinal, S., Praz, C.J., Almeida, E.A.B., and Michez, D. (2013). "The Impact of Molecular Data on Our Understanding of Bee Phylogeny and Evolution.", Annual Review of Entomology, 58, pp. 57-78. doi : 10.1146/annurev-ento-120811-153633  Access to full text


Our understanding of bee phylogeny has improved over the past fifteen years as a result of new data, primarily nucleotide sequence data, and new methods, primarily model-based methods of phylogeny reconstruction. Phylogenetic studies based on single or, more commonly, multilocus data sets have helped resolve the placement of bees within the superfamily Apoidea; the relationships among the seven families of bees; and the relationships among bee subfamilies, tribes, genera, and species. In addition, molecular phylogenies have played an important role in inferring evolutionary patterns and processes in bees. Phylogenies have provided the comparative framework for understanding the evolution of host-plant associations and pollen specialization, the evolution of social behavior, and the evolution of parasitism. In this paper, we present an overview of significant discoveries in bee phylogeny based primarily on the application of molecular data. We review the phylogenetic hypotheses family-by-family and then describe how the new phylogenetic insights have altered our understanding of bee biology.

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