Merckx, Vincent , Kissling, Jonathan , Lemaire, Benny , Smets, E. .
The phylogenetic relationships of ‘difficult’ myco-heterotrophic plant lineages: recent progress and problems.
The use of DNA sequences for phylogenetic reconstruction has revolutionized our understanding of plant relationships. Molecular data allows to infer the relationships of highly reduced parasitic and myco-heterotrophic plants whose affinities were problematic in morphology-based classifications due to the loss of key morphological characters. Unfortunately, the use of DNA data for phylogenetic inference of heterotrophic plants is not without problems. Due to the difficulty of acquiring a representative sampling, highly divergent chloroplast genes, and extreme rate heterogeneity in nuclear and mitochondrial genes, the phylogenetic position of many myco-heterotrophic lineages remains questionable. We provide an overview of recent progress that has been made to identify the closest relatives of the myco-heterotrophic groups Burmanniaceae, Thismiaceae, Triuridaceae, and Voyria (Gentianaceae) using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences. The nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of some of these groups are prone to extremely high substitution rates. We discuss hypotheses about the causes of these elevated substitution rates and their impact on phylogenetic inference.
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1 - University of California, Berkeley, Department of Plant and Microibial Biology, 321 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94705, United States
2 - University of Neuchatel, Evolutionary Botany, Emile Argand 11, Neuchatel, NEU, 2000, Switzerland
3 - KULeuven, Institute of Botany and Microbiology, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, Leuven, B-3000, Belgium
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Cottonwood C/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM