Title

DETERMINING THE PHYLOGENETIC UTILITY OF OF THE NUCLEAR GENE XDH IN THE CONIFER FAMILY CUPRESSACEAE

Presenter Information

Erik Garcia
Rhiannon Peery
Kevin Wilcox

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 140

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

We are examining the phylogenetic utility of the nuclear gene XDH (xanthine dehydrogenase) in gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analysis attempts to determine the evolutionary relationships of groups of organisms, usually using DNA data. Any particular portion of DNA (genes or other regions) may or may not be effective for inferring relationships of a particular group. Low-copy nuclear genes so far have not been used much in plant phylogenetics, yet they are an important potential source of additional, independent phylogenetic information. However, low-copy nuclear genes must be tested in a pilot study to determine, for the group in question, if they can be amplified, if they exhibit sufficient variation, and if the variation is phylogenetically informative. The XDH gene has been successfully used to determine the relationships among the conifer family Podocarpaceae, and we now are investigating its value for determining relationships in another conifer family, Cupressaceae. We have developed a new set of primers and optimized PCR conditions in order to amplify 1141 base pairs of XDH in members of this family. We are in the process of constructing a phylogeny of Cupressaceae with our preliminary XDH data to assess the phylogenetic utility of the data, and determining whether or not amplifying the XDH gene of additional Cupressaceae representatives is worthwhile.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Linda Raubeson

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 17th, 4:50 PM May 17th, 5:10 PM

DETERMINING THE PHYLOGENETIC UTILITY OF OF THE NUCLEAR GENE XDH IN THE CONIFER FAMILY CUPRESSACEAE

SURC 140

We are examining the phylogenetic utility of the nuclear gene XDH (xanthine dehydrogenase) in gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analysis attempts to determine the evolutionary relationships of groups of organisms, usually using DNA data. Any particular portion of DNA (genes or other regions) may or may not be effective for inferring relationships of a particular group. Low-copy nuclear genes so far have not been used much in plant phylogenetics, yet they are an important potential source of additional, independent phylogenetic information. However, low-copy nuclear genes must be tested in a pilot study to determine, for the group in question, if they can be amplified, if they exhibit sufficient variation, and if the variation is phylogenetically informative. The XDH gene has been successfully used to determine the relationships among the conifer family Podocarpaceae, and we now are investigating its value for determining relationships in another conifer family, Cupressaceae. We have developed a new set of primers and optimized PCR conditions in order to amplify 1141 base pairs of XDH in members of this family. We are in the process of constructing a phylogeny of Cupressaceae with our preliminary XDH data to assess the phylogenetic utility of the data, and determining whether or not amplifying the XDH gene of additional Cupressaceae representatives is worthwhile.