, Volume 252, Issue 2, pp 519–535 | Cite as

Decoding cyanobacterial phylogeny and molecular evolution using an evonumeric approach

  • Prashant Singh
  • Satya Shila Singh
  • Marina Aboal
  • Arun Kumar Mishra
Original Article


Forty-one heterocystous cyanobacteria strains representing 12 cyanobacterial genera collected from all across India were assessed in phylogenetic and evolutionary perspectives. The structural gene 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and the functional genes nifD and psbA were selected as molecular chronometers in this study. The phylogenetic analyses demonstrated the monophyly of heterocystous cyanobacteria with significant intermixing, along with establishing the polyphyly of Stigonematales, strongly supporting the need for re-amendments in cyanobacterial taxonomy and systematics. Molecular trends obtained did not clearly reflect the phenotypic affiliations, thus advocating for genetic characterizations using more molecular markers. Large-scale evonumeric extrapolations of gene sequence data of all the three molecular markers was performed to assess the evolutionary pace of heterocystous cyanobacteria on the basis of nucleotide diversity, recombination frequencies, and the DNA divergence between the sampled taxa. The obtained results tilted the evolutionary pace in favor of the less complex Nostocales thus indicating that possibly the simple non-branched forms are more flexible and adaptive for evolutionary diversifications as compared to the more complex and branched ones. This study hence represents a unique blend of molecular phylogeny with evogenomic sequence analyses for understanding the genetic diversity, phylogeny, and evolutionary pace within the heterocystous cyanobacteria.


Phylogeny Heterocystous cyanobacteria Evolutionary pace Evonumeric approach Evonumeric simulation 



We are thankful to the CSIR, DST, and UGC, New Delhi, for providing financial support in the form of project. Prashant Singh is also thankful to CSIR, New Delhi, for their financial support in the form of SRF. The Head, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, is gratefully acknowledged for providing laboratory facilities.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prashant Singh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Satya Shila Singh
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marina Aboal
    • 4
  • Arun Kumar Mishra
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbial Genetics, Department of BotanyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Microbial Culture Collection (MCC)National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS)PuneIndia
  3. 3.Department of Botany, Guru Ghasidas VishwavidyalayaBilaspurIndia
  4. 4.Laboratory of Algae, Department of Vegetal BiologyUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain

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