Ancestral Transfer of Symbionts between Cockroaches and Termites: An Alternative Hypothesis
Closely related cellulolytic protozoa reside in the hindguts of extant woodroaches (Cryptocercidae) and termites (Isoptera). The evolutionary origin of these symbiotic relationships in the two lineages is uncertain. Transfer of protozoa between ancestors of modern Cryptocercus and termites remains a valid alternative theory to the established hypothesis of symbiont inheritance from a common ancestor. Nalepa's (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 246, 185 (1991)) concerns regarding the protozoan transfer hypothesis focus on the biology of modern species, and neglect to consider the evolutionary framework of an ancestral dynamic postulated to occur among Palaeozoic insects. Legitimacy of the symbiont transfer theory removes the constraint of interpreting presence of cellulolytic protozoa as a synapomorphy between Cryptocercidae and Isoptera, with potential impact on objective resolution of dictyopteran phylogeny.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- December 1991