DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Single Copy Nuclear Genes in Basal Angiosperms

Project: Research project

Project Details


In order to understand the origin and early dispersion of flowering plants it is important to have a confident understanding of the relationships among ancient flowering plant groups. With few exceptions, the large molecular datasets used in determining the evolution of angiosperms do not contain DNA sequences from genes in the cell nucleus that code for proteins. This study focuses on: 1) DNA sequences of ten protein coding genes in the nucleus of representative ancient flowering plants: Amborella and Nuphar (yellow water lily); the magnolia relatives Persea (avocado), Aristolochia, and Liriodendron (tulip poplar); and an ancient monocot, Acorus (sweet flag); 2) utility of these genes for understanding relationships in flowering plants; 3) evolutionary dynamics of duplicated copies of these genes in flowering plants; and 4) molecular evolution of these genes following duplication.

This research will produce protocols for using the DNA of nuclear genes in plant systematics. Nuclear gene sequences promise to be extremely useful where DNA sequences of chloroplasts have not clearly determined the oldest branches of the flowering plant tree of life. As a result of this funding, a female graduate student, a female undergraduate student, and a female high school student will be trained in plant systematics.

Effective start/end date7/1/076/30/09


  • National Science Foundation: $11,880.00


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