Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 20, Issue 3–4, pp 333–349 | Cite as

Critical examination of postulated cladistic relationships among species of flour beetles (genus Tribolium, Tenebrionidae, Coleoptera)

  • David Wool


Cytological considerations have led to the hypothesis that Tribolium confusum (CF) evolved from an ancestor similar to T. castaneum (CS) by translocation of an autosome to the X chromsome, and that T. destructor (DEST) was derived from CF. T. brevicornis (BREV) is regarded as the most primitive on morphological grounds. Electrophoretic analyses of 19 strains of CS, 7 of CF, and 1 each of DEST and BREV do not support this postulated evolutionary pathway. CF and CS are much more similar to BREV than they are to each other. (Comparisons of morphological mutations in CS and CF also indicate that the two species are not similar genetically.) DEST and CF are very dissimilar electrophoretically. It is likely that the species evolved independently from an ancestral stock which may be represented by BREV. Recognition of gene homology in different species is the keystone for all attempts at constructing genetically meaningful evolutionary pathways. The difficulties involved in doing so are pointed out.

Key words

Tribolium electrophoresis genetic distance 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wool
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityIsrael

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