Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

2004

Journal or Book Title

Australian Systematic Botany

Volume

17

Issue

2

First Page

145

Last Page

170

DOI

10.1071/SB03015

Abstract

Molecular data have had a profound impact on the field of plant systematics, and the application of DNA-sequence data to phylogenetic problems is now routine. The majority of data used in plant molecular phylogenetic studies derives from chloroplast DNA and nuclear rDNA, while the use of low-copy nuclear genes has not been widely adopted. This is due, at least in part, to the greater difficulty of isolating and characterising low-copy nuclear genes relative to chloroplast and rDNA sequences that are readily amplified with universal primers. The higher level of sequence variation characteristic of low-copy nuclear genes, however, often compensates for the experimental effort required to obtain them. In this review, we briefly discuss the strengths and limitations of chloroplast and rDNA sequences, and then focus our attention on the use of low-copy nuclear sequences. Advantages of low-copy nuclear sequences include a higher rate of evolution than for organellar sequences, the potential to accumulate datasets from multiple unlinked loci, and bi-parental inheritance. Challenges intrinsic to the use of low-copy nuclear sequences include distinguishing orthologous loci from divergent paralogous loci in the same gene family, being mindful of the complications arising from concerted evolution or recombination among paralogous sequences, and the presence of intraspecific, intrapopulational and intraindividual polymorphism. Finally, we provide a detailed protocol for the isolation, characterisation and use of low-copy nuclear sequences for phylogenetic studies.

Comments

This article is from Australian Systematic Botany 17 (2004): 145, doi:10.1071/SB03015.

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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