Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

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Apiales Order of eudicot flowering plants in the asterid group

The Apiales are an order of flowering plants. The families are those recognized in the APG III system. This is typical of the newer classifications, though there is some slight variation and in particular, the Torriceliaceae may be divided.

Clade Group of a common ancestor and all descendants

A clade, also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. Rather than the English term, the equivalent Latin term cladus is often used in taxonomical literature.

Lamiales Order of dicot flowering plants

The Lamiales are an order in the asterid group of dicotyledonous flowering plants. It includes about 23,810 species, 1,059 genera, and is divided into about 24 families. Being one of the largest orders of flowering plants, Lamiales have representatives found all over the world. Well-known or economically important members of this order include lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, the ash tree, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, and a number of table herbs such as mint, basil, and rosemary. Lamiales and Orobanchaceae are both the largest populated parasitic angiosperms of flowering plants.

Phylogenetics Study of evolutionary relationships between organisms

In biology, phylogenetics is a part of systematics that addresses the inference of the evolutionary history and relationships among or within groups of organisms. These relationships are hypothesized by phylogenetic inference methods that evaluate observed heritable traits, such as DNA sequences, protein amino acid sequences, or morphology, often under a specified model of evolution of these traits. The result of such an analysis is a phylogeny —a diagrammatic hypothesis of relationships that reflects the evolutionary history of a group of organisms. The tips of a phylogenetic tree can be living taxa or fossils, and represent the 'end', or the present, in an evolutionary lineage. A phylogenetic diagram can be rooted or unrooted. A rooted tree diagram indicates the hypothetical common ancestor, or ancestral lineage, of the tree. An unrooted tree diagram makes no assumption about the ancestral line, and does not show the origin or "root" of the taxa in question or the direction of inferred evolutionary transformations. In addition to their proper use for inferring phylogenetic patterns among taxa, phylogenetic analyses are often employed to represent relationships among gene copies or individual organisms. Such uses have become central to understanding biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and genomes. In February 2021, scientists reported, for the first time, the sequencing of DNA from animal remains, a mammoth in this instance, over a million years old, the oldest DNA sequenced to date.

Gentianales Order of flowering plants

Gentianales is an order of flowering plants, included within the asterid clade of eudicots. It comprises more than 20,000 species in about 1,200 genera in 5 families. More than 80% of the species in this order belong to the family Rubiaceae.

Phylogenetic tree Branching diagram of evolutionary relationships between organisms

A phylogenetic tree is a branching diagram or a tree showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological species or other entities based upon similarities and differences in their physical or genetic characteristics. All life on Earth is part of a single phylogenetic tree, indicating common ancestry.

Molecular phylogenetics Branch of phylogeny that analyzes genetic, hereditary molecular differences

Molecular phylogenetics is the branch of phylogeny that analyzes genetic, hereditary molecular differences, predominately in DNA sequences, to gain information on an organism's evolutionary relationships. From these analyses, it is possible to determine the processes by which diversity among species has been achieved. The result of a molecular phylogenetic analysis is expressed in a phylogenetic tree. Molecular phylogenetics is one aspect of molecular systematics, a broader term that also includes the use of molecular data in taxonomy and biogeography.

Excavata Supergroup of unicellular organisms belonging to the domain Eukaryota

Excavata is a major supergroup of unicellular organisms belonging to the domain Eukaryota. It was first suggested by Simpson and Patterson in 1999 and introduced by Thomas Cavalier-Smith in 2002 as a formal taxon. It contains a variety of free-living and symbiotic forms, and also includes some important parasites of humans, including Giardia and Trichomonas. Excavates were formerly considered to be included in the now obsolete Protista kingdom. They are classified based on their flagellar structures, and they are considered to be the most basal Flagellate lineage. Phylogenomic analyses split the members of the Excavates into three different and not all closely related groups: Discobids, Metamonads and Malawimonads. Except for Euglenozoa, they are all non-photosynthetic.

Osteoglossomorpha Superorder of fishes

Osteoglossomorpha is a group of bony fish in the Teleostei.

Euarchontoglires Superorder of mice, humans, their most recent common ancestor, and all descendants

Euarchontoglires is a clade and a superorder of mammals, the living members of which belong to one of the five following groups: rodents, lagomorphs, treeshrews, colugos and primates.

Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) is the spacer DNA situated between the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and large-subunit rRNA genes in the chromosome or the corresponding transcribed region in the polycistronic rRNA precursor transcript.

Laurasiatheria A clade of mammals comprising hedgehogs, artiodactyls, cetaceans, bats, perissodactyls, pangolins, and carnivores

Laurasiatheria is a superorder of placental mammals that groups together order Eulipotyphla and clade Scrotifera. It is a sister group to Euarchontoglires with which it forms the magnorder Boreoeutheria. Laurasiatheria was discovered on the basis of the similar gene sequences shared by the mammals belonging to it; no anatomical features have yet been found that unite the group. The Laurasiatheria clade is based on DNA sequence analyses and retrotransposon presence/absence data. The superorder originated on the northern supercontinent of Laurasia, after it split from Gondwana when Pangaea broke up. Its last common ancestor is supposed to have diversified ca. 76 to 90 million years ago.

Saurolophinae Extinct subfamily of dinosaurs

Saurolophinae is a subfamily of hadrosaurid dinosaurs. It has since the mid-20th century generally been called the Hadrosaurinae, a group of largely non-crested hadrosaurs related to the crested sub-family Lambeosaurinae. However, the name Hadrosaurinae is based on the genus Hadrosaurus which was found in more recent studies to be more primitive than either lambeosaurines or other traditional "hadrosaurines", like Edmontosaurus and Saurolophus. As a result of this, the name Hadrosaurinae was dropped or restricted to Hadrosaurus alone, and the subfamily comprising the traditional "hadrosaurines" was renamed the Saurolophinae. Recent phylogenetic work by Hai Xing indicates that Hadrosaurus is placed within the monophyletic group containing all non-lambeosaurine hadrosaurids. Under this view, the traditional Hadrosaurinae is resurrected, with the Hadrosauridae being divided into two clades: Hadrosaurinae and Lambeosaurinae.

Carnivoramorpha Extinct clade of carnivores

Carnivoramorpha ("carnivora-shaped") is a clade of placental mammals that includes the modern order Carnivora and its extinct stem-relatives.

Protostegidae Extinct family of turtles

Protostegidae is a family of extinct marine turtles that lived during the Cretaceous period. The family includes some of the largest sea turtles that ever existed. The largest, Archelon, had a head one metre (39 in) long. Like most sea turtles, they had flattened bodies and flippers for front appendages; protostegids had minimal shells like leatherback turtles of modern times.

Metasuchia Clade of reptiles

Metasuchia is a major clade within the superorder Crocodylomorpha. It is split into two main groups, Notosuchia and Neosuchia. Notosuchia is an extinct group that contains primarily small-bodied Cretaceous taxa with heterodont dentition. Neosuchia includes the extant crocodylians and basal taxa, such as peirosaurids and pholidosaurids. It is phylogenetically defined by Sereno et al. (2001) as a clade containing Notosuchus terrestris, Crocodylus niloticus, and all descendants of their common ancestor.

Recumbirostra Extinct clade of tetrapods

Recumbirostra is a clade of tetrapods which lived during the Carboniferous and Permian periods. It includes the families Pantylidae, Gymnarthridae, Ostodolepidae, Rhynchonkidae and Brachystelechidae, with additional families such as Microbrachidae and Molgophidae being included by some authors. Recumbirostra was erected as a clade in 2007 to include many of the taxa traditionally grouped in "Microsauria", which has since been shown to be a paraphyletic or polyphyletic grouping. Like other "microsaurs", the recumbirostrans have traditionally been considered to be members of the subclass Lepospondyli; however, phylogenetic analyses conducted by Pardo, Szostakiwskyj and Anderson (2015) and Pardo et al. (2017) recovered them as early-branching sauropsid amniotes instead.

<i>Ganzhousaurus</i> Extinct genus of dinosaurs

Ganzhousaurus is an extinct genus of oviraptorid dinosaur known from the Late Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation of Nankang County, Ganzhou City of Jiangxi Province, southern China. It was found in a Maastrichtian deposit and contains a single species, Ganzhousaurus nankangensis. It is distinguished by a combination of primitive and derived features.

Dracohors Clade of reptiles

Dracohors is a clade of dinosauriform archosaurs that includes dinosaurs and silesaurids. The oldest known dracohortian is Asilisaurus, dating to about 245 million years ago in the Anisian age of the middle Triassic period. According to Andrea Cau (2018), the synapomorphies of dracohortians are:

The anterior tympanic recess, the axial epipophyses, the centrodiapophyseal laminae in the presacral vertebrae, the relative size enlargement of the postacetabular process of ilium, the elongation of the pubis, the proximal sulcus and the reduction of the ligament tuber in the femoral head, and the further reduction in length of the fourth metatarsal and toe compared to the third.


Carnivoraformes ("carnivora-shaped") is a clade of placental mammals that includes the modern order Carnivora and its extinct stem-relatives.