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Plant Focus

A small but mature Alabama sandstone oak producing acorns © Patrick Thompson
A Critically Endangered dwarf oak 

“Pharaoh’s Dance”: the Oak Genomic Mosaic

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Andrew L. Hipp

Published May 2019 in International Oaks No. 30: 53–62


When we look at an oak, we see one organism, despite the fact that each of the estimated 25,808 genes in the oak genome has a unique history. Here I review why the evolutionary history of oaks comprises a variety of phylogenetic histories that trace disparate histories of introgression, stochastic allele extinction, and population divergence. I describe recent phylogenomic work that dissects the multiple phylogenetic histories constituting the history of White Oak movements between the Americas and Eurasia. Finally, I argue that the patterns and causes of genomic mosaicism should be a central focus of inquiry for oak phylogenetic work in the coming decade.


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