Silkeworm, Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) is an important model organism, which is well studied, representing and the first species with the whole genome sequence completed in the order Lepidoptera. According to previous studies, there are over 1,000 inbred strains of silkworms which were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago for producing silk. Recently, it was demonstrated that silkworms were domesticated from wild silkworms, B. mandarina, by resequencing 40 genomes of domesticated and wild silkworms, and that economically valuable silkworms were spread worldwide through the Silk Road. Although there have bee many studies about silkworm, it is lack of studies about other species in Bombycidae, such as life histories, evolutionary relationships between silkworms and its relatives, evolution of bombycid members and their hostplants, and the origin of the Bombycidae. The present study included a 3-year investigation on silkworms and its relatives from Asia, South-east Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. We summarized the main findings and results: 1) the illustrations of the immature stages, morphology, male, and female genitalia are given; 2) our well-supported phylogeny indicated the family Bombycidae comprises two subfamilies, Epiinae and Bombycinae, using six genes data set; 3) we reconstructed the biogeographical history of Bombycidae, with and origin the Neotropical region during the Paleocene (about 62 Mya) then split into two subfamilies in the Eocene (about 46 Mya); 4) ancestral trait reconstruction suggested Moraceae as the ancestral hostplant family. Feeding on the genus Ficus was most likely the most recent common ancestor of hostplant of Bombycinae.
|Effective start/end date
|2018/08/01 → 2021/07/31
- character evolution
- historical biogeography
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