<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Building phylogenetic trees

How do scientists construct phylogenetic trees? After the homologous and analogous traits are sorted, scientists often organize the homologous traits using a system called cladistics    . This system sorts organisms into clades: groups of organisms that descended from a single ancestor. For example, in [link] , all of the organisms in the orange region evolved from a single ancestor that had amniotic eggs. Consequently, all of these organisms also have amniotic eggs and make a single clade, also called a monophyletic group    . Clades must include all of the descendants from a branch point.

Art connection

The illustration shows the V-shaped Vertebrata clade, which includes lancelets, lampreys, fish, lizards, rabbits, and humans. Lancelets are at the left tip of the V, and humans are at the right tip. Four more lines are drawn parallel to the lancelet line; each of these lines starts further up the right arm of the V than the next. At the end of each line, from left to right, are lampreys, fish, lizards, and rabbits. Lizards, rabbits, and humans are in the clade Amniota, which form a small V nested in the upper right-hand corner of the V-shaped Vertebrata clade.
Lizards, rabbits, and humans all descend from a common ancestor that had an amniotic egg. Thus, lizards, rabbits, and humans all belong to the clade Amniota. Vertebrata is a larger clade that also includes fish and lamprey.

Which animals in this figure belong to a clade that includes animals with hair? Which evolved first, hair or the amniotic egg?

Clades can vary in size depending on which branch point is being referenced. The important factor is that all of the organisms in the clade or monophyletic group stem from a single point on the tree. This can be remembered because monophyletic breaks down into “mono,” meaning one, and “phyletic,” meaning evolutionary relationship. [link] shows various examples of clades. Notice how each clade comes from a single point, whereas the non-clade groups show branches that do not share a single point.

Art connection

Illustrations show a phylogenetic tree that includes eukaryotic species. A central line represents the trunk of the tree. From this trunk, various groups branch. In order from the bottom, these are diplomonads, microsporidia, trichomonads, flagellates, entamoebae, slime molds, and ciliates. At the top of the tree, animals, fungi and plants all branch from the same point and are shaded to show that they belong in the same clade. Flagellates are on a branch by themselves, and they also form their own clade and are shaded to show this. In another image, Flagellates and ciliates are shaded to show that they branch from different points on the tree and are not considered clades. Likewise, a grouping of animals and plants but not fungi would not be considered a clade cannot exclude a branch originating at the same point as the others.
All the organisms within a clade stem from a single point on the tree. A clade may contain multiple groups, as in the case of animals, fungi and plants, or a single group, as in the case of flagellates. Groups that diverge at a different branch point, or that do not include all groups in a single branch point, are not considered clades.

What is the largest clade in this diagram?

Shared characteristics

Organisms evolve from common ancestors and then diversify. Scientists use the phrase “descent with modification” because even though related organisms have many of the same characteristics and genetic codes, changes occur. This pattern repeats over and over as one goes through the phylogenetic tree of life:

  1. A change in the genetic makeup of an organism leads to a new trait which becomes prevalent in the group.
  2. Many organisms descend from this point and have this trait.
  3. New variations continue to arise: some are adaptive and persist, leading to new traits.
  4. With new traits, a new branch point is determined (go back to step 1 and repeat).

If a characteristic is found in the ancestor of a group, it is considered a shared ancestral character    because all of the organisms in the taxon or clade have that trait. The vertebrate in [link] is a shared ancestral character. Now consider the amniotic egg characteristic in the same figure. Only some of the organisms in [link] have this trait, and to those that do, it is called a shared derived character    because this trait derived at some point but does not include all of the ancestors in the tree.

Questions & Answers

Is there any other type of a eukaryotic cell.
Grace Reply
what is bionomial nomenclature
Rachaelda Reply
state the role of mitochondria
Rachaelda
mitochondria ia power House of the cell. it provides energy and as ATP. Cells energy currency.
Haider
The scientific method of giving short names on the basis of genius and species.
Haider
it is introduce by carlous Lennieus
Haider
it is naming of living organism where by they are given two names one generic and the other specific name
Kenneth
what is element
Kofi Reply
Structure of water molecule and it's biological significance. .....help guys
Ashly
what is the formula for chemical equetion
Justo Reply
Why mitochondria is called the power house of the congo the bahamas cell
Farrukh Reply
how can I learn this subject?
mascuud Reply
what's microscope?
Mathias Reply
A device used to study a very small specimen thst cannt br seen with the naked eyes for example cells, or microorganisms.
Danisha
a medical device used to study cells bacteria viruses and parasites e.g electron microscope for studying cells.
Grace
exactly microscope
Randa
is an instrument use to view microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria
Ohene
it is an instrument used to magnify micro-scopic organism
Kenneth
what does multi seminar mean
Grace Reply
many seminars
Grace
how many cells on the human
Amar Reply
how is genetic testing?
Nyabuoy
test
Nyuongatdet
which party of an internal leaf which represent organ and tissue
fernando
3 trilleons cells on the human
Jyoti
name the groups of bacteria, what they cause and explain the components of bacterial cell
Emmanuel
what are the three level of relationship that exist between organism?
Chinedu
trillions of cells
Grace
unicellular
Kenneth
who many cell are in the human body
Ayasso Reply
trillions of cells
Grace
what causes coloring of skin variation
Prince Reply
what is your answer
Jonathan Reply
which qn
Randa
what is chemosynthesis
Irene
who many cell are in the human body
Ayasso
there are billion cells in human body
fazeela
what are three stages of mitosis
jerry
they're alot cells in our body
jerry
what are the stages of mitosis
jerry
they are prophez methaphez anaphez. thelophez
fazeela
anyone to explain each of the following,, prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase
jerry
what is a filial
Mbah Reply
denoting the offspring of a cross
Grace
what is the difference between chlorophyll and photosynthesis
Rahman Reply
Chloe is the green pigment found in green plants while photosynthesis is the process by which plant produce their own food
mary
photosynthesis is the production of food by plant while chlorophyll is the green pigment that is found in chloroplast..
jerry
chrolophyll (green colouring matter in leaves) while photosynthesis (process by which green plants make their own food)
Nakhombi
What isaac life
Farrukh
chlorophyll is the pigment that gives a plant its green color while photosynthesis is when a plant makes it's own food.
Grace
photo meaning light and synthesis meaning to make
Grace
what are the functions of parts of microscope
Bami Reply
base to provide support
Ian
only base what about the other
Bami
has only one function
Mark
Mirror ... used to reflect light
Irene

Get the best Biology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Biology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask