Nucleotide sequences from four chloroplast genes, the matK, chlL, intergenic spacer (IGS) region between trnL and trnF, and an intron of trnL, were determined from all species of Taxodiaceae and five species of Cupressaceae sensu stricto (s.s.). Phylogenetic trees were constructed using the maximum parsimony and the neighbor-joining methods with Cunninghamia as an outgroup. These analyses provided greater resolution of relationships among genera and higher bootstrap supports for clades compared to previous analyses. Results indicate that Taiwania diverged first, and then Athrotaxis diverged from the remaining genera. Metasequoia, Sequoia, and Sequoiadendron form a clade. Taxodium and Glyptostrobus form a clade, which is the sister to Cryptomeria. Cupressaceae s.s. are derived from within Taxodiaceae, being the most closely related to the Cryptomeria/Taxodium/Glyptostrobus clade. These relationships are consistent with previous morphological groupings and the analyses of other molecular data. In addition, we found acceleration of evolutionary rates in Cupressaceae s.s. Possible causes for the acceleration are discussed.
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