King, Colin , Ballard Jr, Harvey .
Investigating the LEAFY Gene for Phylogenetic Analysis in the Violet Family (Violaceae).
The LEAFY gene has recently gained attention as a marker for phylogenetic studies of vascular plants. However, of the two dozen published studies using LEAFY, few have focused on families of Rosids. These studies generally have shown LEAFY to be variable and phylogenetically informative, especially at the species level. Given documented problems with the Internal Transcribed Spacer region of nrDNA to infer interspecific relationships, we are investigating LEAFY for its phylogenetic utility in the Violet family. Primers were designed for use with the Violet family and potentially other families in the Rosids, by first aligning complete sequences of the gene from GenBank for Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae), Chenopodium rubrum (Amaranthaceae), Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae), Populus balsamifera (Salicaceae), and Viola pubescens (2 sequences, Violaceae). A consensus sequence from the aligned sequences was submitted to Primer 3 online, and primers were identified in conserved areas of exons 2 and 3. A primer pair successfully amplified five genera distributed across the Violaceae: Rinorea crenata,Gloeospermum diversipetalum, Allexis cauliflora, Hybanthus linearifolius, and Viola pubescens. Products sequenced satisfactorily using the PCR primers, but polymorphic sequence in some taxa suggests the presence of two copies (confirmed previously in Viola pubescens). Although the coding regions were very conserved, intron 2 showed extreme numbers of nucleotide substitutions and indels. These preliminary results suggest that the gene will most likely be particularly useful among species within a genus or closely related genera. Imminent future studies will isolate duplicated loci of LEAFY and develop locus-specific primers, and will apply these to representatives of Viola to better assess species-level variation and phylogenetic utility. Our LEAFY primers deserve further investigation for potential use in other Rosid families.
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1 - Ohio University, Environmental & Plant Biology, 315 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM