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Abstract Detail

Colloquium: Assembling the Tree of Life Colloquium

Sytsma, Kenneth J. [1], Kleist, Thomas J. [1], Nickrent, Daniel [2], Barkman, Todd J. [3], Schönenberger, Jürg [4].

Phylogenetics in Ericales – the Utility of mtDNA Gene Sequences and the Placement of Holoparasite Mitrastema.

The Ericales presents a common problem in phylogenetics – the majority of its 23 families are well supported, but relationships among families had been largely elusive. To address the lack of resolution within the Ericales, increasingly larger data sets of taxa and genes have been gathered over the last few years. The latest phylogenetic trees resulting from MP, ML, and Bayesian analyses using over 22 genes (nuclear, cp, and mtDNA) and nearly 100 species representing all major groupings provide a fairly robust view of familial relationships within the order. We focus here on the phylogenetic utility and problems of six mtDNA gene regions in this study of Ericales, and by analogy to other phylogenetic analyses. These mtDNA regions provide a diverse set of phylogenetic utility – some extremely slowly evolving, others faster; some exhibiting homoplasy with intron regions; some prone to horizontal gene transfer, most not. Using primarily mtDNA genes, we place the enigmatic, holoparasitic Mitrastemonaceae conclusively within the Ericales, although its exact placement among families of Ericales is still elusive. We present preliminary data indicating that horizontal gene transfer of one mtDNA gene has occurred from the holoparasite Mitrastema to its host genus, Quercus – a direction of exchange between parasite and host rarely documented in land plants.

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1 - University of Wisconsin Madison, Department of Botany, Birge Hall, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706-1381, USA
2 - Southern Illinois University, Department of Plant Biology, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6509, USA
3 - Western Michigan University, Department of Biological Sciences, 3437 Wood Hall, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49008, USA
4 - Stockholm University, Department of Botany, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, SE-10691, Sweden

horizontal gene transfer.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C1
Location: Cottonwood C/Snowbird Center
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: C1011
Abstract ID:891