Molecular systematics: assembling and using the Tree of Life

Citation
Ps. Soltis et De. Soltis, Molecular systematics: assembling and using the Tree of Life, TAXON, 50(3), 2001, pp. 663-677
Citations number
101
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Plant Sciences
Journal title
TAXON
ISSN journal
0040-0262 → ACNP
Volume
50
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
663 - 677
Database
ISI
SICI code
0040-0262(200108)50:3<663:MSAAUT>2.0.ZU;2-Z
Abstract
The Tree of Life represents the fundamental framework for ordering biologic al information. In this paper, we argue for concerted efforts to reconstruc t the green plant clade of the Tree of Life, as well as the rest of the Tre e, and suggest ways in which the Tree can be used further for inferring and testing hypotheses of evolution. We suggest characters, from DNA sequences to genomic characters, for use in reconstructing the phylogeny of plants. Challenges in data analysis must also be met, if we are to reconstruct the phylogeny of nearly half a billion species of green plants. Phyloinformatic s, the storage, retrieval, and use of phylogenetic data and phylogenetic tr ees, must play an increasingly important role in plant systematics and the systematics community as a whole. Both functional and comparative genomics will benefit from integration with phylogenetic information, and these fiel ds may provide new characters for phylogeny reconstruction. A synthetic vie w of plant phylogeny requires the incorporation of fossils; a major challen ge facing paleo-botanists and plant systematists is the integration of thes e disciplines. In sum, molecular systematics, through interfaces with many other fields, from genomics to computer science to paleobotany, will long r emain an "unending synthesis".