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Systematics Section / ASPT

Murdock, Andrew G. [1], Mishler, Brent D. [1], Smith, A. R. [2], Renzaglia, Karen S. [3], Schuette, Scott [3], O'Kelly, Charles J. [4], Roper, Jessie M. [5], Hansen, Sterling K. [5], Wolf, Paul G. [5].

Phylogeny of the land plants: analysis of a new comprehensive morphological matrix in relation to nucleotide sequence data and comparative organellar genomics.

The Green Plants form one of the largest and most important branches of the Tree of Life. Phylogenetic understanding of green plants has rapidly increased due to advances in data gathering and analysis, as well as increased coordination among different laboratories. For this talk we focus on branching events near the base of the land plants -- the cladistic relationships of the tracheophytes versus the major lineages of "bryophytes" (i.e., liverworts, hornworts, mosses), and early divergences in the tracheophytes. The precise branching order at this level has remained problematic; indeed in some respects it has become more controversial as more genes are examined. Analyses at a level so deep (with relatively short internodes of interest mixed with long terminal branches) are quite difficult, but promising new characters come from the arena of comparative genomics and from recent developments in visualization and interpretation of ultrastructural characters. Combined analyses of traditional aligned DNA sequence data, morphological data, and genome structural data offer the greatest potential for progress for these deep phylogenetic problems. To allow such future syntheses, we have assembled a new morphological data matrix from previously published data sets, with addition of new characters as appropriate. All characters and character-state assignments have been reexamined, and the matrix now contains over 200 characters, a two-fold increase over previous analyses. Preliminary cladistic analyses of this matrix are presented, as well as total evidence analyses incorporating nucleotide and gene order characters from available full chloroplast genomes. Results so far are promising, but conclusions must await the availability of the much larger number of chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes currently being sequenced. Furthermore, this attempt to assemble a complete morphological matrix has uncovered serious gaps in data availability for some critical taxa and thus identifies areas in which further morphological studies are necessary.

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Related Links:
The Green Tree of Life website

1 - University of California, Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Bldg. #2465, Berkeley, California, 94720-2465, USA
2 - University of California, Berkeley, University Herbarium, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, California, 94720, USA
3 - Southern Illinois University, Department of Plant Biology, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6509, USA
4 - Bigelow Lab For Ocean Science, Po Box 475, W Boothbay Harbor, Maine, 04575-0475, USA
5 - Utah State University, Biology, 5305 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah, 84322, USA

land plants.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 38-6
Location: 400/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 3:15 PM
Abstract ID:481

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