Classical plant taxonomic ambiguities extend to the molecular level

Michael Syvanen, Hyman Hartman, Peter F. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The molecular evolution of cytochrome c from angiosperms is compared to that from vertebrates. On the basis of a cladistic analysis from 26 plant species, compared to that from 27 vertebrate species, we find that although the vertebrate sequences yield reasonably well-defined minimal trees that are congruent with the biological tree, the plant sequences yield multiple minimal trees that are not only highly incongruent with each other, but none of which is congruent with any reasonably biological tree. That is, the plant sequence set is much more homoplastic than that of the animal. However, as judged by the relative rate test, the extent of divergence, and degree of functional constraint, cytochrome c evolution in plants does not appear to differ from that of vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-544
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • Cytochrome c
  • Homoplasy
  • Parsimony trees
  • Plant systematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics(clinical)


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