Fungi evolution revisited: application of the penalized likelihood method to a Bayesian fungal phylogeny provides a new perspective on phylogenetic relationships and divergence dates of Ascomycota groups.
ABSTRACT The depiction of evolutionary relationships within phylum Ascomycota is still controversial because of unresolved branching orders in the radiation of major taxa. Here we generated a dataset of 166 small subunit (18S) rDNA sequences, representative of all groups of Fungi and used as input in a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. This phylogeny suggests that Discomycetes are a basal group of filamentous Ascomycetes and probably maintain ancestor characters since their representatives are intermingled among other filamentous fungi. Also, we show that the evolutionary rate heterogeneity within Ascomycota precludes the assumption of a global molecular clock. Accordingly, we used the penalized likelihood method, and for calibration we included a 400 million-year-old Pyrenomycete fossil considering two distinct scenarios found in the literature, one with an estimated date of 1576 Myr for the plant-animal-fungus split and the other with an estimated date of 965 Myr for the animal-fungus split. Our data show that the current classification of the fossil as a Pyrenomycete is not compatible with the second scenario. Estimates under the first scenario are older than dates proposed in previous studies based on small subunit rDNA sequences but support estimates based on multiprotein analysis, suggesting that the radiation of the major Ascomycota groups occurred into the Proterozoic era.
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ABSTRACT: Protein-coding genes of the mitochondrial genomes from 31 mammalian species were analyzed to estimate the speciation dates within primates and also between rats and mice. Three calibration points were used based on paleontological data: one at 20-25 MYA for the hominoid/cercopithecoid divergence, one at 53-57 MYA for the cetacean/artiodactyl divergence, and the third at 110-130 MYA for the metatherian/eutherian divergence. Both the nucleotide and the amino acid sequences were analyzed, producing conflicting results. The global molecular clock was clearly violated for both the nucleotide and the amino acid data. Models of local clocks were implemented using maximum likelihood, allowing different evolutionary rates for some lineages while assuming rate constancy in others. Surprisingly, the highly divergent third codon positions appeared to contain phylogenetic information and produced more sensible estimates of primate divergence dates than did the amino acid sequences. Estimated dates varied considerably depending on the data type, the calibration point, and the substitution model but differed little among the four tree topologies used. We conclude that the calibration derived from the primate fossil record is too recent to be reliable; we also point out a number of problems in date estimation when the molecular clock does not hold. Despite these obstacles, we derived estimates of primate divergence dates that were well supported by the data and were generally consistent with the paleontological record. Estimation of the mouse-rat divergence date, however, was problematic.Molecular Biology and Evolution 08/2000; 17(7):1081-90. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Amino acid sequence data from 57 different enzymes were used to determine the divergence times of the major biological groupings. Deuterostomes and protostomes split about 670 million years ago and plants, animals, and fungi last shared a common ancestor about a billion years ago. With regard to these protein sequences, plants are slightly more similar to animals than are the fungi. In contrast, phylogenetic analysis of the same sequences indicates that fungi and animals shared a common ancestor more recently than either did with plants, the greater difference resulting from the fungal lineage changing faster than the animal and plant lines over the last 965 million years. The major protist lineages have been changing at a somewhat faster rate than other eukaryotes and split off about 1230 million years ago. If the rate of change has been approximately constant, then prokaryotes and eukaryotes last shared a common ancestor about 2 billion years ago, archaebacterial sequences being measurably more similar to eukaryotic ones than are eubacterial ones.Science 02/1996; 271(5248):470-7. · 31.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: About one-fifth of all known extant fungal species form obligate symbiotic associations with green algae, cyanobacteria or with both photobionts. These symbioses, known as lichens, are one way for fungi to meet their requirement for carbohydrates. Lichens are widely believed to have arisen independently on several occasions, accounting for the high diversity and mixed occurrence of lichenized and non-lichenized (42 and 58%, respectively) fungal species within the Ascomycota. Depending on the taxonomic classification chosen, 15-18 orders of the Ascomycota include lichen-forming taxa, and 8-11 of these orders (representing about 60% of the Ascomycota species) contain both lichenized and non-lichenized species. Here we report a phylogenetic comparative analysis of the Ascomycota, a phylum that includes greater than 98% of known lichenized fungal species. Using a Bayesian phylogenetic tree sampling methodology combined with a statistical model of trait evolution, we take into account uncertainty about the phylogenetic tree and ancestral state reconstructions. Our results show that lichens evolved earlier than believed, and that gains of lichenization have been infrequent during Ascomycota evolution, but have been followed by multiple independent losses of the lichen symbiosis. As a consequence, major Ascomycota lineages of exclusively non-lichen-forming species are derived from lichen-forming ancestors. These species include taxa with important benefits and detriments to humans, such as Penicillium and Aspergillus.Nature 07/2001; 411(6840):937-40. · 38.60 Impact Factor