Phylogenetics of New World Astragalus: Screening of novel nuclear loci for the reconstruction of phylogenies at low taxonomic levels

Rosa A. Scherson, Hong Kyu Choi, Douglas R. Cook, Michael J. Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores methods to use information gathered from genomics technology to understand evolutionary relationships in the hyperdiverse legume group Neo-Astragalus. These species inhabit deserts and mountains of North and South America, and even though the monophyly of the group is well established, relationships within it are still poorly understood. Plastid genes, commonly used to infer phylogenies in plants, are usually not useful for closely related taxa because of low levels of genetic variation. The Medicago truncatula genome project provided a suite of candidate nuclear loci with high levels of variation that might prove suitable for low-level phylogenetics. This paper reports the development of methods for screening a large number of these nuclear loci, and detailed analysis of four of them. Four different patterns of phylogenetic diversification occur in the loci sampled from these genomes of Astragalus species. One locus (CNGC4) was single copy and could be directly used in phylogenetic analyses. Two loci (ARG10 and FENR) showed patterns strongly suggestive of duplication events in some taxa, and one locus (tRALS) has apparently undergone a cryptic duplication, making it very difficult to diagnose. Potential methods for using the information provided by these loci are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-366
Number of pages13
JournalBrittonia
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Astragalus
  • Genomics
  • Medicago truncatula
  • Nuclear genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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