Phylogeny and divergence time estimates for the fern genus Azolla (Salviniaceae)
A phylogeny for all extant species of the heterosporous fern genus Azolla is presented here based on more than 5000 base pairs of DNA sequence data from six plastid loci (rbcL, atpB, rps4, trnL-trnF, trnG-trnR, and rps4-trnS). Our results are in agreement with other recent molecular phylogenetic hypotheses that support the monophyly of sections Azolla and Rhizosperma and the proposed relationships within section Azolla. Divergence times are estimated within Azolla using a penalized likelihood approach, integrating data from fossils and DNA sequences. Penalized likelihood analyses estimate a divergence time of 50.7 Ma (Eocene) for the split between sections Azolla and Rhizosperma, 32.5 Ma (Oligocene) for the divergence of Azolla nilotica from A. pinnata within section Rhizosperma, and 16.3 Ma (Miocene) for the divergence of the two lineages within section Azolla (the A. filiculoides + A. rubra lineage from the A. caroliniana + A. microphylla + A. mexicana complex). © 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Metzgar, JS; Schneider, H; Pryer, KM
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