Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from multiple genes as a tool for comparative biology

Nature. 1999 Nov 25;402(6760):402-4. doi: 10.1038/46528.


Comparative biology requires a firm phylogenetic foundation to uncover and understand patterns of diversification and evaluate hypotheses of the processes responsible for these patterns. In the angiosperms, studies of diversification in floral form, stamen organization, reproductive biology, photosynthetic pathway, nitrogen-fixing symbioses and life histories have relied on either explicit or implied phylogenetic trees. Furthermore, to understand the evolution of specific genes and gene families, evaluate the extent of conservation of plant genomes and make proper sense of the huge volume of molecular genetic data available for model organisms such as Arabidopsis, Antirrhinum, maize, rice and wheat, a phylogenetic perspective is necessary. Here we report the results of parsimony analyses of DNA sequences of the plastid genes rbcL and atpB and the nuclear 18S rDNA for 560 species of angiosperms and seven non-flowering seed plants and show a well-resolved and well-supported phylogenetic tree for the angiosperms for use in comparative biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Genes, Plant
  • Magnoliopsida / classification*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plastids / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S / genetics
  • Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase*


  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S
  • RbcL protein, plastid
  • Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase