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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lee M. Pike

Committee Members

Cecilia A. McIntosh, Hugh A. Miller III


The evolution of land plants, particularly the origin of land plants, had long been an issue of concern to biologists. Bryophytes were widely accepted as the first land plants to have emerged during the evolution of land plants (Kenrick 1997, Mishler 1994). But, the phylogeny of the groups within the bryophytes remained debatable. There were currently two popular but conflicting ideas: the liverworts-basal topology (LBT) and the hornworts-basal topology (HBT). This psbA gene study provided additional information to help resolve the debate. Bazzania, Blasia, Megaceros, and Sphagnum psbA gene sequences were generated from this research. The other 24 sequences were obtained from GenBank. The UPGMA, Neighbor-Joining, and Maximum Parsimony trees generated by molecular evolutionary genetic analysis (MEGA) supported the liverworts-basal topology.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.