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Am J Bot. 2002 Oct;89(10):1697-708. doi: 10.3732/ajb.89.10.1697.

The phylogenetic utility of nucleotide sequences of sorbitol 6-phosphate dehydrogenase in Prunus (Rosaceae).

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  • 1University of California-Davis, Department of Pomology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616 USA.


Sequences from s6pdh, a gene that encodes sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the Rosaceae, are used to reconstruct the phylogeny of 22 species of Prunus. The s6pdh sequences alone and in combination with previously published sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the cpDNA trnL-trnF spacer are analyzed using parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. Both methods reconstructed the same phylogeny when s6pdh sequences are used alone and in combination with ITS and trnL-trnF, and the topology is in agreement with previous studies that used a larger sample size. The s6pdh sequences have about twice as many informative sites as ITS. A molecular clock is rejected for s6pdh, most likely due to greater rates of evolution in subgenera Padus and Laurocerasus than in the rest of the genus. Phylogenetic reconstruction of Prunus as determined by analysis of the combined data set suggests an early split into two clades. One is composed of subgenera Cerasus, Laurocerasus, and Padus. The second includes subgenera Amygdalus, Emplectocladus, and Prunus. Species of section Microcerasus (formerly in subgenus Cerasus) are nested within subgenus Prunus. The order of branching and relationships among early diverging lineages is weakly supported, as a result of very short branches that may indicate rapid radiation.

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