Inference of higher-order relationships in the cycads from a large chloroplast data set

HS Rai, HE O'Brien, PA Reeves, RG Olmstead, SW Graham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated higher-order relationships in the cycads, an ancient group of seed-bearing plants, by examining a large portion of the chloroplast genome from seven species chosen to exemplify our current understanding of taxonomic diversity in the order. The regions considered span similar to13.5 kb of unaligned data per taxon, and comprise a diverse range of coding sequences, introns and intergenic spacers dispersed throughout the plastid genome. Our results provide substantial support for most of the inferred backbone of cycad phylogeny, and weak evidence that the sister-group of the cycads among living seed plants is Ginkgo biloba. Cycas (representing Cycadaceae) is the sister-group of the remaining cycads; Dioon is part of the next most basal split. Two of the three commonly recognized families of cycads (Zamiaceae and Stangeriaceae) are not monophyletic; Stangeria is embedded within Zamiaceae, close to Zamia and Ceratozamia, and not closely allied to the other genus of Stangeriaceae, Bowenia. In contrast to the other seed,plants, cycad chloroplast genomes share two features with Ginkgo: a reduced rate of evolution and an elevated transition:transversion ratio. We demonstrate that the latter aspect of their molecular evolution is unlikely to have affected inference of cycad relationships in the context of seed-plant wide analyses. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Encephalartos
  • photosystem II genes
  • NADH dehydrogenase genes
  • ribosomal protein genes
  • seed-plant phylogeny
  • SEED PLANT PHYLOGENY
  • EXTANT GYMNOSPERMS
  • MAXIMUM-LIKELIHOOD
  • EVOLUTIONARY TREES
  • BASAL ANGIOSPERMS
  • FLOWERING PLANTS
  • GENE-SEQUENCES
  • DNA-SEQUENCES
  • CONIFERS
  • GNETALES

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