Molecular dating and biogeography of fig pollinating wasps

The obligate mutualism between pollinating fig wasps in the family Agaonidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) and Ficus species (Moraceae) is often regarded as an example of co-evolution but little is known about the history of the interaction, and understanding the origin of functionally dioecious fig pollination has been especially difficult.

The phylogenetic relationships of fig wasps pollinating functionally dioecious Ficus were inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase gene sequences (mt DNA) and morphology.

The specific identification of many of the species can be difficult, but figs as a group are relatively easy to recognize.

Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants.

Further data on the presence of hemocyanin in the larval stages of Plecoptera species.

Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 39(3): 189-197.

molecular dating and biogeography of fig pollinating wasps-12molecular dating and biogeography of fig pollinating wasps-58molecular dating and biogeography of fig pollinating wasps-9

Taxonomic notes on Ficus Linn., Asia and Australasia. However, they are extremely important food resources for wildlife.Figs are also of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(48): 20342-20347. Wind-borne insects mediate directional pollen transfer between desert fig trees 160 kilometers apart.

Leave a Reply