Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011, Article ID 250154, 9 pages
Research Article

New Insights on the Evolutionary History of Aphids and Their Primary Endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola

1Área de Genómica y Salud, Centro Superior de Investigación en Salud Pública (CSISP), Avenida de Cataluña 21, 46020 Valencia, Spain
2CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
3Departament de Genètica, Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València, Apartado Postal 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain

Received 13 October 2010; Accepted 24 December 2010

Academic Editor: Hiromi Nishida

Copyright © 2011 Vicente Pérez-Brocal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Since the establishment of the symbiosis between the ancestor of modern aphids and their primary endosymbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, insects and bacteria have coevolved. Due to this parallel evolution, the analysis of bacterial genomic features constitutes a useful tool to understand their evolutionary history. Here we report, based on data from B. aphidicola, the molecular evolutionary analysis, the phylogenetic relationships among lineages and a comparison of sequence evolutionary rates of symbionts of four aphid species from three subfamilies. Our results support previous hypotheses of divergence of B. aphidicola and their host lineages during the early Cretaceous and indicate a closer relationship between subfamilies Eriosomatinae and Lachninae than with the Aphidinae. They also reveal a general evolutionary pattern among strains at the functional level. We also point out the effect of lifecycle and generation time as a possible explanation for the accelerated rate in B. aphidicola from the Lachninae.