A duplicate gene rooting of seed plants and the phylogenetic position of flowering plants

Sarah Mathews, Mark D. Clements, Mark A. Beilstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Flowering plants represent the most significant branch in the tree of land plants, with respect to the number of extant species, their impact on the shaping of modern ecosystems and their economic importance. However, unlike so many persistent phylogenetic problems that have yielded to insights from DNA sequence data, the mystery surrounding the origin of angiosperms has deepened with the advent and advance of molecular systematics. Strong statistical support for competing hypotheses and recent novel trees from molecular data suggest that the accuracy of current molecular trees requires further testing. Analyses of phytochrome amino acids using a duplicate gene-rooting approach yield trees that unite cycads and angiosperms in a clade that is sister to a clade in which Gingko and Cupressophyta are successive sister taxa to gnetophytes plus Pinaceae. Application of a cycads + angiosperms backbone constraint in analyses of a morphological dataset yields better resolved trees than do analyses in which extant gymnosperms are forced to be monophyletic. The results have implications both for our assessment of uncertainty in trees from sequence data and for our use of molecular constraints as a way to integrate insights from morphological and molecular evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-395
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1539
StatePublished - Feb 12 2010


  • Amino acids
  • Duplicate genes
  • Phytochromes
  • Seed plant rooting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'A duplicate gene rooting of seed plants and the phylogenetic position of flowering plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this