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Protist. 2002 Jun;153(2):123-32.

Evolutionary relationships among heterokont algae (the autotrophic stramenopiles) based on combined analyses of small and large subunit ribosomal RNA.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.


In order to study the phylogenetic relationships within the stramenopiles, and particularly among the heterokont algae, we have determined complete or nearly complete large-subunit ribosomal RNA sequences for different species of raphidophytes, phaeophytes, xanthophytes, chrysophytes, synurophytes and pinguiophytes. With the small- and large-subunit ribosomal RNA sequences of representatives for nearly all known groups of heterokont algae, phylogenetic trees were constructed from a concatenated alignment of both ribosomal RNAs, including more than 5,000 positions. By using different tree construction methods, inferred phylogenies showed phaeophytes and xanthophytes as sister taxa, as well as the pelagophytes and dictyochophytes, and the chrysophytes/synurophytes and eustigmatophytes. All these relationships are highly supported by bootstrap analysis. However, apart from these sister group relationships, very few other internodes are well resolved and most groups of heterokont algae seem to have diverged within a relatively short time frame.

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