Santalales nearest relatives

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Feb 24 22:11:26 CST 2004

Dear All,
      I am still struggling with the nearest relative of Order Santalales (whether or not Balanophoraceae is included).  Although suggestions have been made (by Takhtajan, IIRC) that this order is related to Icacinaceae (which are probably asterids), that is basically just a third option for me at the present.
      My two main favorites are Order Berberidopsidales and Order Saxifragales (sensu APG).  Both have some molecular support as close relatives of Santalales, but neither seems particuarly optimal from a morphological perspective.  If Berberidopsidales possess palmitone waxes, they might have the edge (but do they possess them?).  Within Saxifragales, the best Santalales-relatives seems to be Hamamelidaceae (but again, do they possess palmitones?) or Paeoniaceae (which commonly possess palmitones, but are perhaps not quite as close molecularly).
     Does anyone have any strong feelings about any of these possibilities, or even other possibilities (a relationship to Ranunculales, for which I haven't found much evidence thus far).  I just wish I could find more information on the distribution of palmitones in core eudicots.
            -------- Cheers,
                           Ken Kinman

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