Sequences of 72 Plastid Genes Support the Early Divergence of Cornales in the Asterids

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Recent phylogenetic analyses of molecular data have supported different hypotheses of relationships among Cornales, Ericales, and core asterids Such hypotheses have implications for the evolution of important morphological and embryological features of asterids In this study we generated plastid genome-scale data of Davidia (Cornales) and Franklinia (Ericales) and combined them with published sequence data of eudicots Our maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses generated strongly supported and congruent phylogenetic relationships among the three major lineages of the asterids Cornales diverges first in asterids, Ericales is sister to the core asterids Adding two more taxa helps mitigate long branch attraction in parsimony analyses Sampling 26-28 plastid protein-coding genes may provide satisfactory resolution and support for relationships of eudicots including basal lineages of asterids