Systematics, Phylogeny, and Evolution



Way back in Chapter 1, we made some rather amazing, yet very confident, statements such as: “...the eukaryotes emerged from their prokaryotic ancestors about 2 × 109 years ago ...” and “...the major Kingdoms of eukaryotes have been separate from each other for the past 1 ×109 years...” not to mention, “...mushroom fungi first evolved about 200 million years ago.” Because we have also written that the “...evolution of fungi cannot be established from a good collection of fossils..” we will now try to explain how we can claim statements like these to be facts about the evolution of life on Earth. The sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of aspecies or taxonomic group of organisms is called the phylogeny of that species or taxonomic group. Phylogenetics is the study of phylogeny and matters relating to it in a way that allows you to infer how organisms are related. In just about any textbook of biology you will and a section describing the evolutionary march in animals from something like a sponge to a human, so it’s easier for us to relate to the story of animal evolution.


Internally Transcribe Spacer Random Mating Horizontal Transfer Fungal Population Unrooted Tree 
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Publications and Websites Worth a Visit

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Historical Publications Worth Knowing About

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2002

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