Autapomorphy in multistate characters

Una Smith una at LANL.GOV
Thu Nov 8 08:29:49 CST 2001

David Orlovich wrote:

>Is a multistate character that has a different state in each taxon
>still called autapomorphic?
>Taxon   Character
>1       G
>2       A
>3       C
>4       T
>The reason I ask is that most textbook examples use binary data to
>illustrate autapomorphy, so the definition is often referred to as 'a
>character state unique to ONE taxon and is thus not informative of
>relationships'.  In the case of the example above, each character
>state is unique to each taxon, and thus I'd say that the single
>character represents four cases of autapomorohy.  Is this right?

Don't lump character and character state.  Each of the 4 character
states here is autapomorphic.  The term applies to a state, not to
a character.

        Una Smith

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mailstop K-710, Los Alamos, NM  87545

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