Examining rates and patterns of nucleotide substitution in plants

Plant Mol Biol. 2000 Jan;42(1):25-43.


Driven by rapid improvements in affordable computing power and by the even faster accumulation of genomic data, the statistical analysis of molecular sequence data has become an active area of interdisciplinary research. Maximum likelihood methods have become mainstream because of their desirable properties and, more importantly, their potential for providing statistically sound solutions in complex data analysis settings. In this chapter, a review of recent literature focusing on rates and patterns of nucleotide substitution rates in the nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial genomes of plants demonstrates the power and flexibility of these new methods. The emerging picture of the nucleotide substitution process in plants is a complex one. Evolutionary rates are seen to be quite variable, both among genes and among plant lineages. However, there are hints, particularly in the chloroplast, that individual factors can have important effects on many genes simultaneously.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Models, Genetic
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Point Mutation*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • DNA, Plant