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Mol Biol Evol. 1998 Oct;15(10):1312-20.

Phylogenetic utility of the nuclear gene arginine decarboxylase: an example from Brassicaceae.

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Department of Botany, University of Georgia at Athens 30602, USA.


Arginine decarboxylase (ADC) is an important enzyme in the production of putrescine and polyamines in plants. It is encoded by a single or low-copy nuclear gene that lacks introns in sequences studied to date. The rate of Adc amino acid sequence evolution is similar to that of ndhF for the angiosperm family studied. Highly conserved regions provide several target sites for PCR priming and sequencing and aid in nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignment across a range of taxonomic levels, while a variable region provides an increased number of potentially informative characters relative to ndhF for the taxa surveyed. The utility of the Adc gene in plant molecular systematic studies is demonstrated by analysis of its partial nucleotide sequences obtained from 13 representatives of Brassicaceae and 3 outgroup taxa, 2 from the mustard oil clade (order Capparales) and 1 from the related order Malvales. Two copies of the Adc gene, Adc1 and Adc2, are found in all members of the Brassicaceae studied to data except the basal genus Aethionema. The resulting Adc gene tree provides robust phylogenetic data regarding relationships within the complex mustard family, as well as independent support for proposed tribal realignments based on other molecular data sets such as those from chloroplast DNA.

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