Navigation Links
DNA sequencing unlocks relationships among flowering plants
Date:2/23/2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. The origins of flowering plants from peas to oak trees are now in clearer focus thanks to the efforts of University of Florida researchers.

A study appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences unravels 100 million years of evolution through an extensive analysis of plant genomes. It targets one of the major moments in plant evolution, when the ancestors of most of the world's flowering plants split into two major groups.

Together the two groups make up nearly 70 percent of all flowering plants and are part of a larger clade known as Pentapetalae, which means five petals. Understanding how these plants are related is a large undertaking that could help ecologists better understand which species are more vulnerable to environmental factors such as climate change.

Shortly after the two groups split apart, they simultaneously embarked upon a rapid burst of new species that lasted 5 million years. This study shows how those species are related and sheds further light on the emergence of flowering plants, an evolutionary phenomenon described by Charles Darwin as an abominable mystery.

"This paper and others show flowering plants as layer after layer of bursts of evolution," said Doug Soltis, study co-author and UF distinguished professor of biology. "Now it's falling together into two big groups."

Pentapetalae has enormous diversity and contains nearly all flowering plants. Its two major groups, superrosids and superasterids, split apart between 111 million and 98 million years ago and now account for more than 200,000 species. The superrosids include such familiar plants as hibiscus, oaks, cotton and roses. The superasterids include mint, azaleas, dogwoods and sunflowers.

Earlier studies were limited by technology and involved only four or five genes. Those studies hinted at the results found in the new study but lacked statistical support, said study co-author Pam Soltis, distinguished professor and Florida Museum of Natural History curator of molecular systematics and evolutionary genetics.

The new study at UF's Florida Museum of Natural History analyzed 86 complete plastid genome sequences from a wide range of plant species. Plastids are the plant cell component responsible for photosynthesis.

Previous genetic analyses of Pentapetalae failed to untangle the relationships among living species, suggesting that the plants diverged rapidly over 5 million years. Researchers selected genomes to sequence based on their best guess of genetic relationships from the previous sequencing work.

Genome sequencing is more time-consuming for plants than animals because plastid DNA is about 10 times larger than the mitochondrial DNA used in studying animal genomes. But continual improvements in DNA sequencing technology are now allowing researchers to analyze those larger amounts of data more quickly.

The study provides an important framework for further investigating evolutionary relationships by providing a much clearer picture of the deep divergence that led to the split within flowering plants, which then led to speciation in the two separate branches.

Eventually, researchers hope to match these evolutionary bursts with geological and climatic events in the earth's history. "I think we're starting to get to a point with a dated tree where we could start looking at what was happening at some of those time frames," Pam Soltis said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Pam Soltis
psoltis@flmnh.ufl.edu
352-273-1964
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
2. 454 Sequencing: Science paper describes a novel, highly efficient method of sequencing ancient DNA
3. UC Irvine receives $2.18M to explore nano advancements in DNA sequencing
4. Microarray sequence capture speeds large-scale resequencing of targeted genomic regions
5. New technique could dramatically lower costs of DNA sequencing
6. DOE JGI Community Sequencing Program delivers first moss genome
7. K-State contributions to red flour beetle genome sequencing featured in March 27 issue of Nature
8. Beijing Genomics Institute adds AB SOLiD system to its next generation sequencing technologies
9. Genetic sequencing of protein from T. rex bone confirms dinosaurs link to birds
10. Argonne-University of Chicago joint venture bolsters genomic sequencing capabilities
11. US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute announces new genome sequencing projects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security ... solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for ... (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to ... United States , in order to deter visa ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, ... technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and ... prisons involved, it has secured the final acceptance ... facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, ... facilities to be installed by October, 2016. MAS ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global ... 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  global ... billion in 2015 and is estimated to grow ... 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing application ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision ... million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ... and to advance its drug development efforts, as well ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner ... a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., ... Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field ... DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: