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Highlights • Methyl jasmonate has been used for more than 20 years to study conifer inducible defenses. • We summarized the key experimental methods used to study methyl jasmonate effects on conifers. • Meta-analysis showed that methyl jasmonate significantly reduces growth and pest/pathogen damage. • We identified important knowledge gaps that hinder the practical use of methyl jasmonate as a protective measure in forestry.


Background The order Lepidoptera has an abundance of species, including both agriculturally beneficial and detrimental insects. Molecular data has been used to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of major subdivisions in Lepidoptera, which has enhanced our understanding of the evolutionary relationships at the family and superfamily levels. However, the phylogenetic placement of many superfamilies and/or families in this order is still unknown. In this study, we determine the systematic status of the family Argyresthiidae within Lepidoptera and explore its phylogenetic affinities and implications for the evolution of the order. We describe the first mitochondrial (mt) genome from a member of Argyresthiidae, the apple fruit moth Argyresthia conjugella. The insect is an important pest on apples in Fennoscandia, as it switches hosts when the main host fails to produce crops. Results The mt genome of A. conjugella contains 16,044 bp and encodes all 37 genes commonly found in insect mt genomes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), two ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs, and a large control region (1101 bp). The nucleotide composition was extremely AT-rich (82%). All detected PCGs (13) began with an ATN codon and terminated with a TAA stop codon, except the start codon in cox1 is ATT. All 22 tRNAs had cloverleaf secondary structures, except trnS1, where one of the dihydrouridine (DHU) arms is missing, reflecting potential differences in gene expression. When compared to the mt genomes of 507 other Lepidoptera representing 18 superfamilies and 42 families, phylogenomic analyses found that A. conjugella had the closest relationship with the Plutellidae family (Yponomeutoidea-super family). We also detected a sister relationship between Yponomeutoidea and the superfamily Tineidae. Conclusions Our results underline the potential importance of mt genomes in comparative genomic analyses of Lepidoptera species and provide valuable evolutionary insight across the tree of Lepidoptera species.