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RNA editing and phylogenetic reconstruction in two monocot mitochondrial genes

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The mitochondrial genome of land plants has a high level of evolutionary plasticity that may impair its use in phylogenetic analyses. Among the most challenging properties are RNA editing and retroprocessing of edited mRNA into the mitochondrial and/or nuclear genome as processed paralogs. Using mtDNA sequence data encoding for apocytochrome B (cob) and the alpha subunit of F1-ATP synthase (atp1) across the monocots, and in two subclades, alismatids and Agavaceae, it is shown that edited sites, despite being more homoplasious than non-edited sites, perform well on the trees, and that they are not randomly distributed among taxa but have a clade specific distribution. Indirect evidence for the presence of processed paralogs is presented and their likely evolutionary fate discussed.
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Keywords: AGAVACEAE; ALISMATALES; CALYCANTHACEAE; MONOCOTYLEDONES; PHYLOGENY; PROCESSED PARALOGS; RNA EDITING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Molecular Systematics, Botanical Garden and Museum, The Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Sølvgade 83, Opg. S, DK-1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark 2: L. H. Bailey Hortorium and Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A. 3: Institute of Systematic Botany, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York 10458, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2006-11-01

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