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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1997 Dec;8(3):385-97.

Molecular evolution and phylogenetic utility of the chloroplast rpl16 intron in Chusquea and the Bambusoideae (Poaceae).

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Department of Botany, Iowa State University, Ames 50011-1020, USA.


Phylogenetic relationships within Chusquea, a diverse genus of neotropical woody bamboos, and among selected members of the Bambusoideae were explored using rpl16 intron sequence data from the chloroplast genome. Mechanisms of mutation, including slipped-strand mispairing, secondary structure, minute inversions, and base substitutions, were examined within the rpl16 intron, and their effects on sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis were investigated. Thirty-five bamboo sequences were generated and two separate matrices were analyzed using maximum parsimony. In the first, 23 sequences from Chusquea, 1 of Neurolepis, and 3 outgroups were included. Neurolepis was supported as sister to Chusquea, Chusquea was strongly supported as a monophyletic lineage, and three species of Chusquea subg. Rettbergia were resolved as the most basal clade within the genus. In the second analysis, 15 sequences, 14 from across the subfamily and 1 outgroup, were included. A Bambusoideae clade was recovered with the Olyreae/Parianeae (herbaceous bamboos) and the Bambuseae (woody bamboos) each supported as monophyletic. Two clades corresponding to temperate and tropical woody bamboos were derived within the Bambuseae and the tropical taxa were further split into New World and Old World clades. The rpl16 intron in bamboos was found to be susceptible to frequent length mutations of multiple origins, nonindependent character evolution, and regions of high mutability, all of which created difficulties in alignment and phylogenetic analysis; nonetheless the rpl16 intron is phylogenetically informative at the inter- and intrageneric levels in bamboos.

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