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A new insight into the phylogeny of vascular cryptogams with special reference to Selaginella and Isoetes inferred from nuclear ITS/5.8S rDNA sequences

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2014
Authors:Ja Saha, Gupta, Kb, Gupta, Ba
Journal:Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology

In order to provide a better understanding of the evolutionary history of vascular cryptogams, phylogenetic framework was developed based on ITS1, ITS2 and 5.8S rDNA sequences of 102 extant taxa of vascular cryptogams using Maximum Parsimony (MP) analysis. The analysis revealed high GC content in Isoetaceae (60.5 %) in comparison with Selaginellaceae (54.4 %) that was envisaged to be the result of variation in selection, mutational bias, and biased recombination-associated DNA repair within these two plant lineages during evolution. Transition/transversion ratio was observed to be 0.9 in Isoetaceae, 0.68 in Selaginellaceae and 0.57 among all the 102 taxa belonging to lycophytes and ferns. It is hypothesized that the lycophytes have been separated very early during evolution and therefore acquired independent line of evolution from the other plant lineages. Although Selaginellaceae and Isoetaceae are closely related ancient plant groups, pairwise sequence divergence of sampled taxa on the basis of transition and transversion, and disparity index values per site between sampled sequence pairs pointed towards the differential investment of natural selection process. These lead to high rate of nucleotide substitution within nuclear genome of Selaginellaceae with respect to Isoetaceae. MP phylogenetic tree identified Isoetes subinermis, Isoetes durieui and Salvia microphylla as separate group among the studied taxa due to high sequence variation within these species through the time of evolution. Our result interpreted the polyphyletic origin of ferns and provides valuable information regarding the lycophytes and their fern allies. © 2013 Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology.

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