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Sequence-capture phylogenomics of true spiders reveals convergent evolution of respiratory systems

Citation

Hedin, Marshal (2020), Sequence-capture phylogenomics of true spiders reveals convergent evolution of respiratory systems, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3bk3j9kfd

Abstract

The common ancestor of spiders likely used silk to line burrows or make simple webs, with specialized spinning organs and aerial webs originating with the evolution of the megadiverse “true spiders” (Araneomorphae). The base of the araneomorph tree also concentrates the greatest number of changes in respiratory structures, a character system whose evolution is still poorly understood, and that might be related to the evolution of silk glands. Emphasizing a dense sampling of multiple araneomorph lineages where tracheal systems likely originated, we gathered genomic-scale data and reconstructed a phylogeny of true spiders. This robust phylogenomic framework was used to conduct maximum likelihood and Bayesian character evolution analyses for respiratory systems, silk glands, and aerial webs, based on a combination of original and published data. Our results indicate that in true spiders, posterior book lungs were transformed into morphologically similar tracheal systems six times independently, after the evolution of novel silk gland systems and the origin of aerial webs. From these comparative data we put forth a novel hypothesis that early-diverging web building spiders were faced with new energetic demands for spinning, which prompted the evolution of similar tracheal systems via convergence; we also propose tests of predictions derived from this hypothesis.