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      Testing the phylogenetic utility of MCM7 in the Ascomycota

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      MycoKeys

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The Ascomycota are a group of filamentous fungi that occur as saprobes, pathogens and symbionts of immense industrial, medical, ecological, and economical importance. The search for new markers appropriate for molecular phylogenetic analysis of Ascomycota remains a challenging problem. In this study, we explore the phylogenetic utility of a single copy protein-coding gene, MCM7; newly recognized as useful for inferring phylogenetic relationships among the major classes of the Ascomycota. Our specific goals were to; 1) test the phylogenetic utility of MCM7 for estimating phylogenies at various taxonomic ranks (class and below) with an emphasis on non-lichenized ascomycetes; and, 2) compare the congruence, robustness and resolving power of MCM7-based phylogenies with that of nuclear large subunit 28S rDNA (LSU)-based phylogenies for the same taxon set. A dataset of sequence data for MCM7 as well as LSU was assembled for 80 species belonging to 63 genera of lichenized or non-lichenized ascomycetes in the classes Dothideomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Geoglossomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, and Sordariomycetes. We obtained 99 new sequences of which 65 are MCM7 and 34 are LSU. Maximum-Likelihood and Bayesian analyses were performed using single as well as combined gene datasets and partitions. We also assessed substitution saturation for the MCM7 gene. Results indicate that MCM7 can be used successfully for determining phylogenetic relationships of non-lichenized ascomycetes and provided good resolution and support at half the cost compared to LSU. Phylogenetic informativeness profiles using PhyDesign tool shows MCM7 was a higher phylogenetic informative gene than LSU. The MCM7 gene is also a valuable phylogenetic marker for both lower as well as higher level phylogenetic analyses within the non-lichenized Ascomycota, especially when used in combination with the LSU gene. We found that although the third codon position of MCM7 is saturated, it was better to analyze the dataset with all codon positions included. Phylogenetic performance of MCM7 with and without the third codon position is discussed.

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          Most cited references 45

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          DAMBE: Software Package for Data Analysis in Molecular Biology and Evolution

           X. Xia (2001)
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            The Ascomycota tree of life: a phylum-wide phylogeny clarifies the origin and evolution of fundamental reproductive and ecological traits.

            We present a 6-gene, 420-species maximum-likelihood phylogeny of Ascomycota, the largest phylum of Fungi. This analysis is the most taxonomically complete to date with species sampled from all 15 currently circumscribed classes. A number of superclass-level nodes that have previously evaded resolution and were unnamed in classifications of the Fungi are resolved for the first time. Based on the 6-gene phylogeny we conducted a phylogenetic informativeness analysis of all 6 genes and a series of ancestral character state reconstructions that focused on morphology of sporocarps, ascus dehiscence, and evolution of nutritional modes and ecologies. A gene-by-gene assessment of phylogenetic informativeness yielded higher levels of informativeness for protein genes (RPB1, RPB2, and TEF1) as compared with the ribosomal genes, which have been the standard bearer in fungal systematics. Our reconstruction of sporocarp characters is consistent with 2 origins for multicellular sexual reproductive structures in Ascomycota, once in the common ancestor of Pezizomycotina and once in the common ancestor of Neolectomycetes. This first report of dual origins of ascomycete sporocarps highlights the complicated nature of assessing homology of morphological traits across Fungi. Furthermore, ancestral reconstruction supports an open sporocarp with an exposed hymenium (apothecium) as the primitive morphology for Pezizomycotina with multiple derivations of the partially (perithecia) or completely enclosed (cleistothecia) sporocarps. Ascus dehiscence is most informative at the class level within Pezizomycotina with most superclass nodes reconstructed equivocally. Character-state reconstructions support a terrestrial, saprobic ecology as ancestral. In contrast to previous studies, these analyses support multiple origins of lichenization events with the loss of lichenization as less frequent and limited to terminal, closely related species.
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              Bayes or bootstrap? A simulation study comparing the performance of Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling and bootstrapping in assessing phylogenetic confidence.

              Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling has become increasingly popular in phylogenetics as a method for both estimating the maximum likelihood topology and for assessing nodal confidence. Despite the growing use of posterior probabilities, the relationship between the Bayesian measure of confidence and the most commonly used confidence measure in phylogenetics, the nonparametric bootstrap proportion, is poorly understood. We used computer simulation to investigate the behavior of three phylogenetic confidence methods: Bayesian posterior probabilities calculated via Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling (BMCMC-PP), maximum likelihood bootstrap proportion (ML-BP), and maximum parsimony bootstrap proportion (MP-BP). We simulated the evolution of DNA sequence on 17-taxon topologies under 18 evolutionary scenarios and examined the performance of these methods in assigning confidence to correct monophyletic and incorrect monophyletic groups, and we examined the effects of increasing character number on support value. BMCMC-PP and ML-BP were often strongly correlated with one another but could provide substantially different estimates of support on short internodes. In contrast, BMCMC-PP correlated poorly with MP-BP across most of the simulation conditions that we examined. For a given threshold value, more correct monophyletic groups were supported by BMCMC-PP than by either ML-BP or MP-BP. When threshold values were chosen that fixed the rate of accepting incorrect monophyletic relationship as true at 5%, all three methods recovered most of the correct relationships on the simulated topologies, although BMCMC-PP and ML-BP performed better than MP-BP. BMCMC-PP was usually a less biased predictor of phylogenetic accuracy than either bootstrapping method. BMCMC-PP provided high support values for correct topological bipartitions with fewer characters than was needed for nonparametric bootstrap.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                MycoKeys
                MC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-4049
                1314-4057
                September 14 2011
                September 14 2011
                : 1
                : 63-94
                Article
                10.3897/mycokeys.1.1966
                © 2011
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