Phylogenetic and applied studies on chloroplast genome in forest conifers

Alfred E. Szmidt

Biochemical Markers in the Population Genetics of Forest Trees, S. Fineschi, M.E. Malvolti, F. Cannata and H.H. Hattemer (eds.), 1991 SPB Academic Publishing bv, The Hague, The Netherlands, pp. 185-196.

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The paper delivers a summary of current research concerning chloroplast (= cp) DNA in forest conifers. It appears that conifers' cpDNA is characterized by several unique features as compared to other plants. It lacks the ubiquitous inverted repeat structure; it is paternally inherited and, at least in two species, carries an unusual duplication of the psbA gene. In addition, the overall gene arrangement is different from that found in other plants. Analysis of cpDNA variation among species aids phylogenetic delineation of individual species, and is useful for assessing the genetic composition of introgressed populations. Due to paternal inheritance, cpDNA markers are useful for some specific purposes, such as determining reciprocal effects and patriarchal lineages.
Key words: chloroplast DNA, phylogeny, evolution, review

by Alfred E. Szmidt