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Mol Biol Evol. 2012 May;29(5):1319-34. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msr285. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

A consistent phylogenetic backbone for the fungi.

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1
Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna, University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria. ingo.ebersberger@univie.ac.at

Abstract

The kingdom of fungi provides model organisms for biotechnology, cell biology, genetics, and life sciences in general. Only when their phylogenetic relationships are stably resolved, can individual results from fungal research be integrated into a holistic picture of biology. However, and despite recent progress, many deep relationships within the fungi remain unclear. Here, we present the first phylogenomic study of an entire eukaryotic kingdom that uses a consistency criterion to strengthen phylogenetic conclusions. We reason that branches (splits) recovered with independent data and different tree reconstruction methods are likely to reflect true evolutionary relationships. Two complementary phylogenomic data sets based on 99 fungal genomes and 109 fungal expressed sequence tag (EST) sets analyzed with four different tree reconstruction methods shed light from different angles on the fungal tree of life. Eleven additional data sets address specifically the phylogenetic position of Blastocladiomycota, Ustilaginomycotina, and Dothideomycetes, respectively. The combined evidence from the resulting trees supports the deep-level stability of the fungal groups toward a comprehensive natural system of the fungi. In addition, our analysis reveals methodologically interesting aspects. Enrichment for EST encoded data-a common practice in phylogenomic analyses-introduces a strong bias toward slowly evolving and functionally correlated genes. Consequently, the generalization of phylogenomic data sets as collections of randomly selected genes cannot be taken for granted. A thorough characterization of the data to assess possible influences on the tree reconstruction should therefore become a standard in phylogenomic analyses.

PMID:
22114356
PMCID:
PMC3339314
DOI:
10.1093/molbev/msr285
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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