Oct 17, 2014

Using more than the oldest fossils: Dating Osmundaceae by three Bayesian clock approaches

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Guido GrimmSusanne S Renner


A major concern in molecular clock dating is how to use information from the fossil record to calibrate genetic distances from DNA sequences. Here we apply three Bayesian dating methods that differ in how calibration is achieved—‘node dating’(ND) in BEAST, ‘total evidence’(TE) dating in MrBayes, and the ‘fossilised birth-death’(FBD) in FDPPDiv—to infer divergence times in the Osmundaceae or royal ferns. Osmundaceae have 13 species in four genera, two mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and two in South Africa and Australasia; they are the sister clade to the remaining leptosporangiate ferns. Their fossil record consists of at least 150 species in ∼17 genera and three extinct families. For ND, we used the five oldest fossils, while for TE and FBD dating, which do not require forcing fossils to nodes and thus can use more fossils, we included up to 36 rhizome and frond compression/impression fossils, which for TE dating were scored for 33 morphological characters. We also subsampled 10%, 25%, and 50% of the 36 fossils to assess model sensitivity. FBD-derived divergence dates were generally greater than ages inferred from ND dating; two of seven TE-derived ages agreed with FBD-obtained ages, the others were much younger or much olde...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Osmunda regalis
Transient Elastography
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