Utility of 17 Chloroplast Genes for Inferring the Phylogeny of the Basal Angiosperms

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  • Sequences from 14 slowly evolving chloroplast genes (including three highly conserved introns) were obtained for representative basal angiosperm and seed-plant taxa, using novel primers described here. These data were combined with published sequences from atpB, rbcL, and newly obtained sequences from ndhF. Combined data from these 17 genes permit sturdy, well-resolved inference of major aspects of basal angiosperm relationships, demonstrating that the new primers are valuable tools for sorting out the deepest events in flowering plant phylogeny. Sequences from the inverted repeat (IR) proved to be particularly reliable (low homoplasy, high retention index). Representatives of Cabomba and Illicium were the first two successive branches of the angiosperms in an initial sampling of 19 exemplar taxa. This result was strongly supported by bootstrap analysis and by two small insertion/deletion events in the slowly evolving introns. Several paleoherb groups (representatives of Piperales) formed a strongly supported clade with taxa representing core woody magnoliids (Laurales, Magnoliales, and Winteraceae). The monophyly of the sampled eudicots and monocots was also well supported. Analyses of three major partitions of the data showed many of the same clades and supported the rooting seen with all the data combined. While Amborella trichopoda was supported as the sister group of the remaining angiosperms when we added Amborella and Nymphaea odorata to the analysis, a strongly conflicting rooting was observed when Amborella alone was added.

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    This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Sean W. Graham and Richard G. Olmstead (2000). Utility of 17 Chloroplast Genes for Inferring the Phylogeny of the Basal Angiosperms. American Journal of Botany , Vol. 87, No. 11, pp. 1712-1730