outgroup to Acanthus

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 9 10:30:55 CDT 2001

      I think Ruellia would probably make a  better outgroup than either
Thunbergia or Mendoncia (Thunbergiaceae and Mendonciaceae are sometimes
split off as separate families from Acanthaceae).  As far I can tell,
subfamilies Acanthoideae and Ruellioideae are more closely related,
therefore making Ruellia a better choice.
      However, if you have the extra time and resources, you might want to
consider using more than one outgroup.  You might want to use a genus from
subfamily Acanthoideae if available.  I would guess that very good results
might be obtained by using one outgroup from Ruellioideae (e.g. Ruellia) and
perhaps two genera from Acanthoideae.  You could combine them all in one
analysis, or one outgroup at a time (or ideally all of the above).  If all
analyses show the same result, you could have very strong confidence in that
result.  But even just using Ruellia as a single outgroup should probably
give you pretty reliable results (more so than Thunbergia, which does not
look like an ideal choice for outgroup in my opinion).  But I do not have a
strong botany background, so I would certainly advise you to get other
       --- Hope this helps,  Ken Kinman
>From: Lai-Lai Teo <lailaiteo at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Reply-To: Lai-Lai Teo <lailaiteo at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Sister genus of Achanthus
>Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 17:39:29 +0800
>Dear all,
>A friend of mine is studying the phylogenetic relatiohship between three
>Acanthus species growing in tropical mangrove swamp. According to the
>literature, Thunbergia and Mendoncia are the near outgroup. Mendoncia is
>readily available at our place and she is left with Thunbergia. However,
>according to the literature, the sister group relationship of Thunbergia is
>not strongly supported based on molecular data of chloroplast and nuclear
>DNA. Somebody suggested Ruellia, but we do not have do not have much
>information on the relatioship between Acanthus and Ruellia. Is it a must
>use the nearest sister group as an outgroup for phylogenetic analysis? How
>would different outgroups affect the phylogenetic trees produced?
>Your advice will be much appreciated. Thank you.
>Lai-Lai Teo
>Project Officer (Research)
>National Institute of Education
>Nanyang Technological University
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