Angiosperm ordinal sister taxa (2 examples)

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Feb 8 22:57:00 CST 2004

Dear All,
     Following up on the Limnanthaceae post, I am not certain what group is the sister taxon to Order Brassicales, but one of the major candidates is Order Sapindales (which includes "Rutales").  Finding several such possible sister group relationships is how I plan to attack the problem of rosid phylogeny, and hopefully a gradual pattern will emerge in the process.  We shall see.
      Another sister group relationship which I was impressed with many years ago was that of Orders Santalales and Balanophorales, so much so that I included Balanophorales within Santalales in my 1994 classification book.  As far as I can tell, Balanophoraceae (sensu lato) is probably still best regarded as a basal clade of Order Santalales (although I wouldn't particularly object to regarding them as two sister taxa of separate ordinal rank).  The far more important question to me is whether Cynomoriaceae is more closely related to Balanophoraceae or evolved its parasitic life style separately (and Nickrent has proposed the Cynomoriaceae may be closer to Saxifragales).  But this is not as clearcut as was separating off Hydnoraceae (which is a basal dicot, not a eudicot, and thus far removed).  Santalales and Saxifragales are certainly not anywhere nearly that distantly related, so Cynomoriaceae could still end up next to Balanophoraceae.
          -------- Cheers,
                        Ken Kinman
P.S.  I should also note that I will no doubt be splitting Order Balsaminales off from APG's "Ericalean" grouping, and don't be surprised if I split off Polemoniales and Theales as well.  Other than APG's "Malpighialean" grouping, their "Ericalean" grouping is the most troubling to me (as I have noted previously).  Just look at it as breaking a couple of big eggs (that appear non-holophyletic to me) in order to create some better omelettes.  :-)

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