Phylogenetics, divergence times and diversification from three genomic partitions in monocots

Kate L. Hertweck*, Michael S. Kinney, Stephanie A. Stuart, Olivier Maurin, Sarah Mathews, Mark W. Chase, Maria A. Gandolfo, J. Chris Pires

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    72 Citations (Scopus)
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    Resolution of evolutionary relationships among some monocot orders remains problematic despite the application of various taxon and molecular locus sampling strategies. In this study we sequenced and analysed a fragment of the low-copy, nuclear phytochrome C (PHYC) gene and combined these data with a previous multigene data set (four plastid, one mitochondrial, two nuclear ribosomal loci) to determine if adding this marker improved resolution and support of relationships among major lineages of monocots. Our results indicate the addition of PHYC to the multigene dataset increases support along the backbone of the monocot tree, although relationships among orders of commelinids remain elusive. We also estimated divergence times in monocots by applying newly evaluated fossil calibrations to our resolved phylogenetic tree. Inclusion of early-diverging angiosperm lineages confirmed the origin of extant monocots c. 131Mya and strengthened the hypothesis of recent divergence times for some lineages, although current divergence time estimation methods may inadequately model rate heterogeneity in monocots. We note significant shifts in diversification in at least two monocot orders, Poales and Asparagales. We describe patterns of diversification in the context of radiation of other relevant plant and animal lineages.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)375-393
    Number of pages19
    JournalBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Divergence time estimation
    • Fossil calibration
    • Molecular phylogenetics
    • Monocotyledoneous plants


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