Navigation Links
Tree of life for flowering plants reveals relationships among major groups
Date:11/26/2007

AUSTIN, TexasThe evolutionary Tree of Life for flowering plants has been revealed using the largest collection of genomic data of these plants to date, report scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and University of Florida.

The scientists, publishing two papers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week online, found that the two largest groups of flowering plants, monocots (grasses and their relatives) and eudicots (including sunflowers and tomatoes), are more closely related to each other than to any of the other major lineages.

The analyses also confirmed that a unique species of plant called Amborella, found only on the Pacific island of New Caledonia, represents the earliest diverging lineage of flowering plants.

Robert Jansen, professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, said the work sets the stage for all future comparative studies of flowering plants.

If you are interested in understanding the evolution of flowering plants, you cant do that unless you understand their relationships, said Jansen.

The University of Florida team, led by Doug and Pam Soltis, also showed that the major diversification of flowering plants, so stunning that the researchers are calling it the Big Bang, took place in the comparatively short period of less than five million years. This resulted in all five major lineages of flowering plants present today.

Flowering plants today comprise around 400,000 species, said Pam Soltis, curator at the universitys Florida Museum of Natural History. To think that the burst that gave rise to almost all of these plants occurred in less than five million years is pretty amazingespecially when you consider that flowering plants as a group have been around for at least 130 million years.

The details of the flowering plants rapid diversification have remained a mystery since Charles Darwin first suggested their evolutionary history is an abominable mystery.

One of the reasons why it has been hard to understand evolutionary relationships among the major groups of flowering plants is because they diversified over such a short time frame, said Jansen.

But by analyzing DNA sequences from completely sequenced chloroplast genomes, the scientists brought some clarity to the evolutionary picture.

Jansen and his colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin analyzed DNA sequences of 81 genes from the chloroplast genome of 64 species of plants, while the Florida researchers analyzed 61 genes from 45 species. The two groups also performed a combined analysis, which produced evolutionary trees that included all of the major groups of flowering plants.

As for the diversifications cause, it remains mysterious, Pam and Doug Soltis said.

Its possible it was spurred by some major climatic event. Its also possible that a new evolutionary trait a more efficient water-conducting cell that transfers water up plant stemsproved so effective that it spurred massive plant growth. This cell type is not present in the first three flowering plant lineages, said Doug Soltis, professor of botany at Florida.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Jansen
jansen@mail.utexas.edu
512-232-5667
University of Texas at Austin  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UF botanists: Flowering plants evolved very quickly into 5 groups
2. Layered approach may yield stronger, more successful bone implants
3. Clever plants chat over their own network
4. Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
5. Book on weeds and invasive plants discusses how to manage them using ecological approaches
6. A greenhouse in order to study the impact of climate change on plants
7. Agent that triggers immune response in plants is uncovered
8. Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants
9. A new baseline of invasive plants in Isabela
10. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
11. Scientists warn that species extinction could reduce productivity of plants on Earth by half
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tree of life for flowering plants reveals relationships among major groups
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... project, for the , Supply and Delivery of ... Infrastructure , to Decatur , ... Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the tendering ... selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The contract ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Regular discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt ... said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the ... pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is set by ... "In certain areas there needs to ... goals, why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target ... over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA ... Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a ... STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further ...
Breaking Biology Technology: