Nov 15, 2003

Ribosomal ITS sequences and plant phylogenetic inference

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
I Alvarez, J. F. Wendel

Abstract

One of the most popular sequences for phylogenetic inference at the generic and infrageneric levels in plants is the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the 18S-5.8S-26S nuclear ribosomal cistron. The prominence of this source of nuclear DNA sequence data is underscored by a survey of phylogenetic publications involving comparisons at the genus level or below, which reveals that of 244 papers published over the last five years, 66% included ITS sequence data. Perhaps even more striking is the fact that 34% of all published phylogenetic hypothesis have been based exclusively on ITS sequences. Notwithstanding the many important contributions of ITS sequence data to phylogenetic understanding and knowledge of genome relationships, a number of molecular genetic processes impact ITS sequences in ways that may mislead phylogenetic inference. These molecular genetic processes are reviewed here, drawing attention to both underlying mechanism and phylogenetic implications. Among the most prevalent complications for phylogenetic inference is the existence in many plant genomes of extensive sequence variation, arising from ancient or recent array duplication events, genomic harboring of pseudogenes in various states of decay, and/...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Glycine tomentella
DNA, Ribosomal Spacer
Dimethyl Sulfoxide
Multigene Family
Polypsecadium adscendens
Picea engelmannii
Exons
Genome
Nucleic Acid Hybridization Procedure
Quercus

About this Paper

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