Next-generation museum genomics: Phylogenetic relationships among palpimanoid spiders using sequence capture techniques (Araneae: Palpimanoidea)

Historical museum specimens are invaluable for morphological and taxonomic research, but typically the DNA is degraded making traditional sequencing techniques di?cult to impossible for many specimens. Recent advances in Next-Generation Sequencing, speci?cally target capture, makes use of short fragment sizes typical of degraded DNA, opening up the possibilities for gathering genomic data from museum specimens. This study uses museum specimens and recent target capture sequencing techniques to sequence both Ultra-Conserved Elements (UCE) and exonic regions for lineages that span the modern spiders, Araneomorphae, with a focus on Palpimanoidea. While many previous studies have used target capture techniques on dried museum specimens (for example, skins, pinned insects), this study includes specimens that were collected over the last two decades and stored in 70% ethanol at room temperature. Our ?ndings support the utility of target capture methods for examining deep relationships within Araneomorphae: sequences from both UCE and exonic loci were important for resolving relationships; a monophyletic Palpimanoidea was recovered in many analyses and there was strong support for family and generic-level palpimanoid relationships. Ancestral character state reconstructions reveal that the highly modi?ed carapace observed in mecysmaucheniids and archaeids has evolved independently.