Angiosperm Tree of Life - Assembling the Tree of Life

Part of the National Science Foundation's Assembling the Tree of Life Program

Phyloinformatics

Integrating local and distributed data on the Tree of Life

  • AToL has employed the first of the "next generation sequencers", the 454 Life Sciences GS20/FLX platform, to sequence 36 flowering plant plastid genomes (Moore et. al. 2007). The 454 sequencer produces highly accurate and complete plastid genome sequence at great savings of time and money over traditional shotgun sequencing (Moore et. al. 2006). With genome-scale data, the most difficult relationships among major groups of angiosperms can now be addressed, resulting in a new era of great promise for resolving the remaining thorny nodes in the angiosperm branch of the Tree of Life.

  • The angiosperm AToL group, along with other Tree of Life groups, collaborates in TOLKIN, an informative management and analytical web application for phylodiversity and biodiversity research. This application allows collaborators in different locations to access shared data on voucher specimens, taxonomy, bibliography, morphology and DNA samples and sequences.

  • TOLKIN generates external data to resources such as International Plant Names Index, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Tropicos, GenBank, Index Nominum Genicorum, TreeBASE and BioGeomancer, where users are able to see a summary of sequencing activities.

  • Tolkin also provides a workbench functionality for analysis of sequence data by automating the assemblage of Fasta files, BLASTing capability, multiple sequence alignments, output of Nexus Files, and automating deposit of digital data to repositories such as GenBank.