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Precambrian Palaeontology in the Light of Molecular Phylogeny – an Example: the Radiation of the Green Algae : Volume 4, Issue 5 (10/09/2007)

By Teyssèdre, B.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003982847
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 20
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Precambrian Palaeontology in the Light of Molecular Phylogeny – an Example: the Radiation of the Green Algae : Volume 4, Issue 5 (10/09/2007)  
Author: Teyssèdre, B.
Volume: Vol. 4, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications

Description: University Paris I, 12 place du Panthéon, 75.005 Paris, France. The problem of the antiquity of the radiation of the green algae (phylum Viridiplantae) has been hotly debated and is still controversial today. A method combining Precambrian paleontology and molecular phylogeny is applied to shed light on this topic. As a critical method, molecular phylogeny is essential for avoiding taxonomic mistakes. As a heuristic method, it helps us to discern to what extent the presence of such and such clade is likely at such and such time, and it may even suggest the attribution of some fossil to a clade whose taxonomic position will be distinctly defined even though it has no previously known representative. Some well characterized Precambrian fossils of green algae are Palaeastrum and Proterocladus at Svanbergfjellet (ca. 750 Ma), Tasmanites and Pterospermella at Thule (ca. 1200 Ma), Spiromorpha at Ruyang (ca. 1200 Ma) and Leiosphaeridia crassa at Roper (ca. 1450 Ma). The position of these fossils in the taxonomy and the phylogeny of the Viriplantae is discussed. The conclusions are that the Chlorophyceae and the Ulvophyceae were separated long before 750 Ma, that the Chlorophyta and the Streptophyta were separated long before 1200 Ma and that the last common ancestor of the Viridiplantae and the Rhodophyta was possibly two billion years old.

Precambrian palaeontology in the light of molecular phylogeny – an example: the radiation of the green algae

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