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Phylogenetic Relationships Among the Genera of Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae: Evidence from rbcL Sequences

Steven J. Brunsfeld, Pamela S. Soltis, Douglas E. Soltis, Paul A. Gadek, Christopher J. Quinn, Darren D. Strenge and Tom A. Ranker
Systematic Botany
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1994), pp. 253-262
DOI: 10.2307/2419600
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2419600
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Phylogenetic Relationships Among the Genera of Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae: Evidence from rbcL Sequences
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Abstract

DNA sequences from the plastid gene rbcL were used to assess relationships among genera of the conifer families Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae s. str. Phylogenetic analyses produced four most parsimonious trees that differ only in the positions of three genera (Athrotaxis, Taxodium, and Tuiwania) and the degree of resolution of a trichotomy within Cupressaceae s. str. Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae form a monophyletic group. The major lineages of Taxodiaceae diverged first, and a monophyletic Cupressaceae s. str. are derived from within Taxodiaceae. These results are consistent with recent suggestions that the two families be treated as a single family, Cupressaceae s.l. Sciadopitys, often classified in Taxodiaceae, is not closely related to Cupressaceae s.l. and should be excluded from the family. Sequence evolution of rbcL is extremely slow in this group of long-lived trees. The rate of silent nucleotide substitutions is 2.5 x 10-11 per site per year, approximately 13 times slower than rates estimated in short-lived monocots.

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