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Nucleic Acids Res. Aug 1, 1996; 24(15): 2857–2867.
PMCID: PMC146035

Conservation patterns in angiosperm rDNA ITS2 sequences.


The two internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA have become commonly exploited sources of informative variation for interspecific-/intergeneric-level phylogenetic analyses among angiosperms and other eukaryotes. We present an alignment in which one-third to one-half of the ITS2 sequence is alignable above the family level in angiosperms and a phenetic analysis showing that ITS2 contains information sufficient to diagnose lineages at several hierarchical levels. Base compositional analysis shows that angiosperm ITS2 is inherently GC-rich, and that the proportion of T is much more variable than that for other bases. We propose a general model of angiosperm ITS2 secondary structure that shows common pairing relationships for most of the conserved sequence tracts. Variations in our secondary structure predictions for sequences from different taxa indicate that compensatory mutation is not limited to paired positions.

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Selected References

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