Data from: An extreme case of plant-insect codiversification: figs and fig-pollinating wasps


Simon Van Noort, Natural History Division, Iziko Museums
Lien Siang Chou, Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University
Astrid Cruaud, INRA, UMR1062 CBGP
Rosichon Ubaidillah, Research Center for Biology, LIPI
Gwenaélle Genson, INRA, UMR1062 CBGP
Tselil Schramm, Department of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Vincent Savolainen, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus
Ran Libeskind-Hadas, Department of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Emmanuelle Jousselin, INRA, UMR1062 CBGP
Finn Kjellberg, CNRS-UMR 5175 CEFE
George D. Weiblen, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota
Bhanumas Chantarasuwan, National Herbarium of the Netherlands
Roula Jabbour-Zahab, INRA, UMR1062 CBGP
Rodrigo Augusto Santinelo Pereira, Depto de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo
John Peebles, Department of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde, INRA, UR633 Zoologie Forestière
Martine Hossaert-Mckey, CNRS-UMR 5175 CEFE
Rhett D. Harrison, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, XTBG
James M. Cook, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading
Anak Yodpinyanee, Department of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Carole Kerdelhué, INRA, UMR1062 CBGP
Nina Ronsted, Natural History Museum of Denmark
Arnaud Couloux, Centre National de Séquençage, CP5706
Benjamin Cousins, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University
Jean-Yves Rasplus, INRA, UMR1062 CBGP
Yan-Qiong Peng, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, XTBG
Wendy L. Clement, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota
Da-Rong Yang, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, XTBG
Paul E. Hanson, Escuela de Biología, Universidad de Costa Rica. A.P. 2060


It is thought that speciation in phytophagous insects is often due to colonization of novel host plants, because radiations of plant and insect lineages are typically asynchronous. Recent phylogenetic comparisons have supported this model of diversification for both insect herbivores and specialized pollinators. An exceptional case where contemporaneous plant–insect diversification might be expected is the obligate mutualism between fig trees (Ficus species, Moraceae) and their pollinating wasps (Agaonidae, Hymenoptera). The ubiquity and ecological significance of this mutualism in tropical and subtropical ecosystems has long intrigued biologists, but the systematic challenge posed by >750 interacting species pairs has hindered progress toward understanding its evolutionary history. In particular, taxon sampling and analytical tools have been insufficient for large-scale cophylogenetic analyses. Here, we sampled nearly 200 interacting pairs of fig and wasp species from across the globe. Two supermatrices were assembled: on an average, wasps had sequences from 77% of 6 genes (5.6 kb), figs had sequences from 60% of 5 genes (5.5 kb), and overall 850 new DNA sequences were generated for this study. We also developed a new analytical tool, Jane 2, for event-based phylogenetic reconciliation analysis of very large data sets. Separate Bayesian phylogenetic analyses for figs and fig wasps under relaxed molecular clock assumptions indicate Cretaceous diversification of crown groups and contemporaneous divergence for nearly half of all fig and pollinator lineages. Event-based cophylogenetic analyses further support the codiversification hypothesis. Biogeographic analyses indicate that the present-day distribution of fig and pollinator lineages is consistent with a Eurasian origin and subsequent dispersal, rather than with Gondwanan vicariance. Overall, our findings indicate that the fig-pollinator mutualism represents an extreme case among plant–insect interactions of coordinated dispersal and long-term codiversification.

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