Welcome to the PCC Project website. The PCC Project (Proctotrupoidea, Ceraphronoidea, and Cynipoidea Phylogenetics) is a part of the HymAToL grant to look specifically at relationships within these three superfamilies. Of the three, Cynipoidea is the most diverse and has been studied most extensively, but there remains many uncertainties in relationships, especially among the basal groups. The Proctotrupoidea is a contested superfamily with several recent studies suggesting paraphyly or polyphyly. And Ceraphronoidea is perhaps the least known of all the Hymenoptera superfamilies, with no phylogenetic study to date. All three groups have incredibly diverse biologies, and well-resolved phylogenies of each superfamily will allow us to explore host use, host shifts, diversification, and biogeography.
PCC research is centered in the Ronquist lab at Florida State University. Three postdocs are involved in the project, Matt Buffington, Andy Deans, and Debra Murray. Critical to any project of this size, there is also substantial input from many researchers worldwide. Collaborators contribute to the project with exemplar selection, identifications, specimen collections, character coding, and general expertise. About 140 exemplars have been selected to represent lineages within each superfamily, and more taxa will be added in the future. Morphological coding of characters will be conducted primarily by Buffington and Deans, and SEM images of all exemplars will be made available on Morphbank. Molecular data sets for each superfamily will be based on both ribosomal and protein-coding nuclear genes. Genes selected currently for the project include EF1-alpha, CAD, 28S, and 18S.