Molecular phylogeny of Pholadoidea Lamarck, 1809 supports a single origin for xylotrophy (wood feeding) and xylotrophic bacterial endosymbiosis in Bivalvia

Publication year: 2011
Source: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Daniel L., Distel , Mehwish, Amin , Adam, Burgoyne , Eric, Linton , Gustaf, Mamangkey , …

The ability to consume wood as food (xylotrophy) is unusual among animals. In terrestrial environments, termites and other xylotrophic insects are the principle wood consumers while in marine environments wood-boring bivalves fulfill this role. However, the evolutionary origin of wood feeding in bivalves has remained largely unexplored. Here we provide data indicating that xylotrophy has arisen just once in Bivalvia in a single wood-feeding bivalve lineage that subsequently diversified into distinct shallow- and deep-water branches, both of which have been broadly successful in colonizing the world’s oceans. These data also suggest that the appearance of this remarkable life habit was…

Graphical abstract

 Graphical abstract:  Highlights: ► We infer a phylogeny for xylotrophic (wood-eating) bivalves using molecular characters. ► We show that xylotrophy and xylotrophic endosymbiosis arose just once in bivalvia. ► We infer the characteristics of the ancestral xylotrophic bivalve. ► We show that Pholadidae, Teredininae, and Bankiinae are non-monophyletic. ► A principle diagnostic feature of teredinid species is phylogenetically misleading.