Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 18, 1994; 91(2): 634–638.

Plant mitochondrial nucleic acid sequences as a tool for phylogenetic analysis.


To evaluate the potential of mitochondrial nucleic acid sequences as a phylogenetic tool, we have analyzed cytochrome oxidase subunit III (coxIII) coding sequences in representatives of the major groups of land plants. The phylogenetic tree derived from these mitochondrial sequences confirms the monophyletic origin of land plant mitochondria with the general order and descent of land plants deduced by other molecular, physiological, and morphological traits. The mitochondrial sequences strongly suggest a close phylogenetic relationship between Bryophyta and Lycopodiatae, whereas Psilophytatae cluster with the other vascular plants. In addition to the high sequence similarity, both Hepaticophytina and Lycopodiatae contain a related intron in the coxIII gene that, to our knowledge, is not found in any other plant species. The slowly evolving mitochondrial sequences of plants are shown to provide a useful phylogenetic tool to evaluate distant evolutionary relationships within this kingdom.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (970K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Avise JC. Ten unorthodox perspectives on evolution prompted by comparative population genetic findings on mitochondrial DNA. Annu Rev Genet. 1991;25:45–69. [PubMed]
  • Vigilant L, Stoneking M, Harpending H, Hawkes K, Wilson AC. African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA. Science. 1991 Sep 27;253(5027):1503–1507. [PubMed]
  • Palmer JD. Contrasting modes and tempos of genome evolution in land plant organelles. Trends Genet. 1990 Apr;6(4):115–120. [PubMed]
  • Wolfe KH, Li WH, Sharp PM. Rates of nucleotide substitution vary greatly among plant mitochondrial, chloroplast, and nuclear DNAs. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Dec;84(24):9054–9058. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stein DB, Conant DS, Ahearn ME, Jordan ET, Kirch SA, Hasebe M, Iwatsuki K, Tan MK, Thomson JA. Structural rearrangements of the chloroplast genome provide an important phylogenetic link in ferns. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Mar 1;89(5):1856–1860. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Raubeson LA, Jansen RK. Chloroplast DNA evidence on the ancient evolutionary split in vascular land plants. Science. 1992 Mar 27;255(5052):1697–1699. [PubMed]
  • Wolfe KH, Gouy M, Yang YW, Sharp PM, Li WH. Date of the monocot-dicot divergence estimated from chloroplast DNA sequence data. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Aug;86(16):6201–6205. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Clegg MT. Chloroplast gene sequences and the study of plant evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jan 15;90(2):363–367. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hori H, Lim BL, Osawa S. Evolution of green plants as deduced from 5S rRNA sequences. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Feb;82(3):820–823. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Covello PS, Gray MW. RNA editing in plant mitochondria. Nature. 1989 Oct 19;341(6243):662–666. [PubMed]
  • Gualberto JM, Lamattina L, Bonnard G, Weil JH, Grienenberger JM. RNA editing in wheat mitochondria results in the conservation of protein sequences. Nature. 1989 Oct 19;341(6243):660–662. [PubMed]
  • Hiesel R, Wissinger B, Schuster W, Brennicke A. RNA editing in plant mitochondria. Science. 1989 Dec 22;246(4937):1632–1634. [PubMed]
  • Hiesel R, Combettes B, Brennicke A. Evidence for RNA editing in mitochondria of all major groups of land plants except the Bryophyta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Jan 18;91(2):629–633. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kishino H, Hasegawa M. Evaluation of the maximum likelihood estimate of the evolutionary tree topologies from DNA sequence data, and the branching order in hominoidea. J Mol Evol. 1989 Aug;29(2):170–179. [PubMed]
  • Fox TD. Five TGA "stop" codons occur within the translated sequence of the yeast mitochondrial gene for cytochrome c oxidase subunit II. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Dec;76(12):6534–6538. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gualberto JM, Weil JH, Grienenberger JM. Editing of the wheat coxIII transcript: evidence for twelve C to U and one U to C conversions and for sequence similarities around editing sites. Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 Jul 11;18(13):3771–3776. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Marienfeld JR, Reski R, Abel WO. The first analysed archegoniate mitochondrial gene (COX3) exhibits extraordinary features. Curr Genet. 1991 Sep;20(4):319–329. [PubMed]
  • Oda K, Yamato K, Ohta E, Nakamura Y, Takemura M, Nozato N, Akashi K, Kanegae T, Ogura Y, Kohchi T, et al. Gene organization deduced from the complete sequence of liverwort Marchantia polymorpha mitochondrial DNA. A primitive form of plant mitochondrial genome. J Mol Biol. 1992 Jan 5;223(1):1–7. [PubMed]
  • Covello PS, Gray MW. Differences in editing at homologous sites in messenger RNAs from angiosperm mitochondria. Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 Sep 11;18(17):5189–5196. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wissinger B, Schuster W, Brennicke A. Species-specific RNA editing patterns in the mitochondrial rps13 transcripts of Oenothera and Daucus. Mol Gen Genet. 1990 Dec;224(3):389–395. [PubMed]
  • Nugent JM, Palmer JD. RNA-mediated transfer of the gene coxII from the mitochondrion to the nucleus during flowering plant evolution. Cell. 1991 Aug 9;66(3):473–481. [PubMed]
  • Covello PS, Gray MW. Silent mitochondrial and active nuclear genes for subunit 2 of cytochrome c oxidase (cox2) in soybean: evidence for RNA-mediated gene transfer. EMBO J. 1992 Nov;11(11):3815–3820. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Grohmann L, Brennicke A, Schuster W. The mitochondrial gene encoding ribosomal protein S12 has been translocated to the nuclear genome in Oenothera. Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Nov 11;20(21):5641–5646. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gray MW. The endosymbiont hypothesis revisited. Int Rev Cytol. 1992;141:233–357. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...