Dating origin orchidaceae
The genus is endemic to Brazil, where it is confined to the High Altitude Rocky Complexes (Brazilian Campos Rupestres and Campos de Altitude) of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santos and Bahia states. We have been able to obtain or generate sequences for all but a single species, thus reaching a 98% complete species sampling..
To evaluate how the newly estimated ages may influence the evolutionary interpretation of a species-level phylogeny, we assess divergence times for the South American genus Our results provide additional support that all extant orchids shared a most recent common ancestor in the Late Cretaceous (~77 million years ago, Ma).
Our age estimates indicate that extant Orchidaceae shared a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in the Late Cretaceous, ~80 Ma (95% confidence intervals, CI: 56 - 105 Ma).
Accordingly, median divergence times for the five orchid subfamilies currently recognized (Apostasioideae, Vanilloideae, Cypripedioideae, Orchidoideae and Epidendroideae) varied between ~31 Ma and ~58 Ma (Table ).
This represents the first definitive fossil record for the Orchidaceae.
Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature 448(30), copyright 2007.