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Phylogenetic Relationships of Conifers Inferred from Partial 28S rRNA Gene Sequences
Saša Stefanović, Muriel Jager, Jean Deutsch, Jean Broutin and Monique Masselot
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 85, No. 5 (May, 1998), pp. 688-697
Published by: Botanical Society of America, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2446539
Page Count: 10
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The conifers, which traditionally comprise seven families, are the largest and most diverse group of living gymnosperms Efforts to systematize this diversity without a cladistic phylogenetic framework have often resulted in the segregation of certain genera and/or families from the conifers In order to understand better the relationships between the families, we performed cladistic analyses using a new data set obtained from 28S rRNA gene sequences These analyses strongly support the monophyly of conifers including Taxaceae Within the conifers, the Pinaceae are the first to diverge, being the sister group of the rest of conifers A recently discovered Australian genus Wollemia is confirmed to be a natural member of the Araucariaceae. The Taxaceae are nested within the conifer clade, being the most closely related to the Cephalotaxaceae The Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae together form a monophyletic group Sciadopitys should be considered as constituting a separate family These relationships are consistent with previous cladistic analyses of morphological and molecular (18S rRNA, rbcL) data Furthermore, the well-supported clade linking the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae, which has not been previously reported, suggests that the common ancestor of these families, both having the greatest diversity in the Southern Hemisphere, inhabited Gondwanaland.
American Journal of Botany © 1998 Botanical Society of America, Inc.