Li, Fay-Wei , Kuo, Li-Yaung , Rothfels, Carl , Ebihara, Astushi , Chiou, Wen-Liang , Windham, Michael , Pryer, Kathleen .
rbcL and matK earn a thumbs up as the core DNA barcode for ferns.
DNA barcoding will revolutionize our understanding of fern ecology, most especially because the accurate identification of the independent but cryptic gametophyte phase of the fern’s life history––an endeavor previously impossible––will finally be feasible. In this study, we assess the discriminatory power of the core plant DNA barcode (rbcL and matK), as well as alternatively proposed plant barcodes (trnH-psbA and trnL-F), across all major fern lineages. We also present plastid barcode data for two genera in the hyperdiverse polypod clade––Deparia (Woodsiaceae) and the Cheilanthes marginata group (in the process of being segregated as a new genus of Pteridaceae)––to further illustrate the resolving power of these loci. Our results clearly demonstrate the value of matK data, previously unavailable in ferns due to a major rearrangement of the chloroplast genome. With its high sequence variation, matK complements rbcL to provide a two-locus barcode capable of distinguishing most species that have evolved through divergent evolution. With sequence variation comparable to matK, trnL-F appears to be a suitable alternative barcode region in ferns, and perhaps should be added to the core DNA barcode for plants. In contrast, trnH-psbA shows dramatically reduced sequence variation for the majority of ferns. This is likely due to the translocation of this segment of the chloroplast genome into the inverted repeat regions, which are known to have a highly constrained substitution rate. Our study provides the first endorsement of the two-locus barcode (rbcL + matK) in ferns, and favors trnL-F over trnH-psbA as a potential back-up locus.
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1 - Duke University, Biology, Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
2 - National Taiwan University, Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Taipei , 10617, Taiwan
3 - DUKE UNIVERSITY, Department Of Biology, BOX 90338, DURHAM, NC, 27708, USA
4 - National Museum of Nature and Science, Department of Botany, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, Japan
5 - Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Division of Botanical Garden, Taipei , 10066, Taiwan
6 - Duke University, Science Drive, Durham, NC, 27708-0338, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Waterman Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 10:30 AM