Phylogenetic utility of more axillary growth (MAX4 ) - like genes: a case study in Digitalis / Isoplexis (Plantaginaceae)
Kelly, L. J. and Culham, A. (2008) Phylogenetic utility of more axillary growth (MAX4 ) - like genes: a case study in Digitalis / Isoplexis (Plantaginaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 273 (3-4). pp. 133-149. ISSN 0378-2697
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s00606-008-0008-0
We present the first assessment of phylogenetic utility of a potential novel low-copy nuclear gene region in flowering plants. A fragment of the MORE AXILLARY GROWTH 4 gene (MAX4, also known as RAMOSUS1 and DECREASED APICAL DOMINANCE1), predicted to span two introns, was isolated from members of Digitalis/Isoplexis. Phylogenetic analyses, under both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference, were performed and revealed evidence of putative MAX4-like paralogues. The MAX4-like trees were compared with those obtained for Digitalis/Isoplexis using ITS and trnL-F, revealing a high degree of incongruence between these different DNA regions. Network analyses indicate complex patterns of evolution between the MAX4 sequences, which cannot be adequately represented on bifurcating trees. The incidence of paralogy restricts the use of MAX4 in phylogenetic inference within the study group, although MAX4 could potentially be used in combination with other DNA regions for resolving species relationships in cases where paralogues can be clearly identified.