18S Ribosomal DNA Sequence Data and Dating, Classifying, and Ranking the Fungi

  • M. L. Berbee
  • J. W. Taylor
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 269)


How could information from 18S ribosomal DNA sequences be incorporated into a classification system? Molecular systematic studies are yielding a wealth of new fungal taxonomic characters. In some cases, DNA sequence data support traditional taxonomic groups. In other cases, among ascomycetous yeasts for example, sequence data suggest new, unfamiliar groupings that require revision of the classification. Whether from molecular or traditional approaches, increased resolution of taxonomic relationships is leading to situations in which the number of ranks available for classification is inadequate for complete description of relationships. Possible solutions to the problem of proliferating ranks include accepting paraphyletic groups or eliminating the traditional ranks like family, class, order, and so on. Hennig proposed that taxa that diverged at about the same geological time should be given the same ranking. With a combination of evidence from sequence data and from the fossil record, we have estimated the timing of some fungal divergences, and we explore the consequences of basing rankings on geological age of origins.


Monophyletic Group Neurospora Crassa Ascomycetous Yeast Filamentous Ascomycete Paraphyletic Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ainsworth, G.L., F.K. Sparrow, and A.S. Sussman, eds, 1973, The Fungi — An advanced treatise. Vol. 4A. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Berbee, M.L., and J.W. Taylor, 1993a, Ascomycete relationships: dating the origin of asexual lineages with 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequence data, In: The Fungal Holomorph: Mitotic, Meiotic and Pleomorphic Speciation in Fungal Systematic (D.R. Reynolds and J.W. Taylor, eds): 67–78. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  3. Berbee, M.L., and J.W. Taylor, 1993b, Dating the evolutionary radiations of the true fungi, Canadian Journal of Botany 71: 1114–1127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bruns, T.D., R. Vilgalys, S.M. Barns, D. Gonzales, D.S. Hibbett, D.J. Lane, L. Simon, S. Stickel, T.M. Szaro, W.G. Weisburg, and M.L. Sogin, 1992, Evolutionary relationsips within the Fungi: analyses of nuclear small subunit rRNA sequences, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 1: 231–241.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Estabrook, G.F. 1986, Evolutionary classification using convex phenetics, Systematic Zoology 35: 560–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hawksworth, D.L., B.C. Sutton, and G.C. Ainsworth, 1983, Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi, 7th edition. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Slough.Google Scholar
  7. Hennig, W., 1966, Phylogenetic Systematics [transi. D.D. Davis and R. Zangerl.] University of Illinois Press, Urbana.Google Scholar
  8. Ochman, H., and A.C. Wilson, 1987, Evolution in bacteria: evidence for a universal substitution rate in cellular genomes, Journal of Molecular Evolution 26: 74–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Queiroz, K. de, and J. Gauthier, 1990, Phylogeny as a central principle in taxonomy: phylogenetic definitions of taxon names, Systematic Zoology 39: 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Sibley, C.G. and J.E. Ahlquist, 1990, Phylogeny and Classification of Birds, a Study in Molecular Evolution, Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
  11. Simon, L., J. Bousquet, R.C. Lévesque, and M. Lalonde, 1993, Origin and diversification of endomycorrhizal fungi and coincidence with vascular land plants, Nature 363: 67–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sogin, M.L., 1989, Evolution of eukaryotic microorganisms and their small subunit ribosomal RNAs, American Zoologist 29: 487–499.Google Scholar
  13. Swofford, D.L., 1991, PAUP: Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony, Version 3.0. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign.Google Scholar
  14. Vilgalys, R., and D.S. Hibbett, 1993, Phylogenetic classification of fungi and our Linnean Heritage, In: The Fungal Holomorph: Mitotic, Meiotic and Pleomorphic Speciation in Fungal Systematics (D.R. Reynolds and J.W. Taylor, eds): 255–260. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  15. Wiley, E.O., 1981, Phylogenetics, the theory and practice of phylogenetic systematics, John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Wolfe, K.H., M. Gouy, Y.-W. Yang, P.M. Sharp, and W.-H. Li, 1989, Date of the monocot-dicot divergence estimated from chloroplast DNA sequence data, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United States of America 86: 6201–6205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Berbee
    • 1
  • J. W. Taylor
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations