Year in review: Insect, bird evolution revisited | Science News


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Year in review: Insect, bird evolution revisited

Genetic analyses produce new family trees

7:00am, December 16, 2014

RETHINKING LINKS  Insects got an entirely new family tree after an extensive genetic analysis rearranged the creatures' relations.


Biologists in 2014 saw what an astronomical amount of data could do for evolutionary questions — and what it couldn’t.

Bernhard Misof of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Germany, and 100 coauthors, published an evolutionary family tree of insects and close relatives based on the subset of some 1,478 genes shared by 144 kinds of organisms (SN: 12/13/14, p. 8).

This project, called 1KITE (for 1,000 Insect Transcriptome Evolution), arranged branches on the new tree in ways that looked familiar, but details of certain insect orders differed. Project coleader Karl Kjer of Rutgers University says he

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