Evaluation of atpB Nucleotide Sequences for Phylogenetic Studies of Ferns and Other Pteridophytes
American Journal of Botany
Inferring basal relationships among vascular plants poses a major challenge to plant systematists. The divergence events that describe these relationships occurred long ago and considerable homoplasy has since accrued for both molecular and morphological characters. A potential solution is to examine phylogenetic analyses from multiple data sets. Here I present a new source of phylogenetic data for ferns and other pteridophytes. I sequenced the chloroplast gene atpB from 23 pteridophyte taxa and used maximum parsimony to infer relationships. A 588-bp region of the gene appeared to contain a statistically significant amount of phylogenetic signal and the resulting trees were largely congruent with similar analyses of nucleotide sequences from rbcL. However, a combined analysis of atpB plus rbcL produced a better resolved tree than did either data set alone. In the shortest trees, leptosporangiate ferns formed a monophyletic group. Also, I detected a well-supported clade of Psilotaceae (Psilotum and Tmesipteris) plus Ophioglossaceae (Ophioglossum and Botrychium). The demonstrated utility of atpB suggests that sequences from this gene should play a role in phylogenetic analyses that incorporate data from chloroplast genes, nuclear genes, morphology, and fossil data.
Wolf, P. G. 1997. Evaluation of atpB nucleotide sequences for phylogenetic studies of ferns and other pteridophytes. American Journal of Botany 84: 1429-1440.