LEWIS, CARL E.* AND JEFF J. DOYLE. L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. - Low-copy nuclear genes for phylogenetic research in the palm family.
Low-copy nuclear genes are a potential source of new phylogenetic
information in the palm family. We describe two genes that resolve
relationships at various taxonomic levels within the family. Malate
synthase, a glyoxylate cycle enzyme, appears to be encoded by a
single-copy gene in palms. Exon sequences from the malate synthase
gene are alignable across the family and with sequences from outgroup
taxa, and are useful for resolving relationships among major clades of
palms. Malate synthase intron sequences are alignable across the palm
subfamily Arecoideae and provide phylogenetic resolution among its
genera. Two copies of the gene encoding phosphoribulokinase, a
pentose phosphate pathway enzyme, appear to be present in palms.
Sequences of one phosphoribulokinase paralogue have been useful for a
species-level phylogeny of the genus Hyophorbe. The malate
synthase and phosphoribulokinase genes may also be useful sources of
data for studies in other groups of plants.
Key words: Arecaceae, malate synthase, molecular phylogenetics, Palmae, phosphoribulokinase