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Phylogenomics and Cytonuclear Coevolution of Papilionoid Legumes

In addition to their ecologically important role in symbiotic nitrogen fixation, legumes in the papillionoid group include virtually all economically significant crop (food and forage) species, such as alfalfa, peas, lentils, peanuts, chickpeas, soybean and beans.  With more than 14,000 species in 504 genera worldwide, resolving relationships among papilionoids has proved challenging, yet a fully resolved phylogenetic tree is required to investigate intracellular coevolution.  This project will use DNA sequence information from all three genomes to produce a fully resolved papilionoid evolutionary tree and use it as a framework to study the role of coevolution in speciation and hybrid formation.  The project findings will be invaluable to legume and other plant biologists as well as for agriculture.

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