Amborellaceae or Nymphaeaceae first?

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jan 13 19:45:34 CST 2004

Dear All,
      I should perhaps clarify that I am not
suggesting the removal of Amborellaceae from the basal
"ANITA" grade (3 clades?) at the base of angiosperms,
but just the possible removal of Amborellaceae as the
FIRST extant clade to split off.  But this has
extremely important implications for the nature of the
first flowering plants.
      The big story for several years now has been:
Amborella is the first to split off (or the somewhat
less popular suggestion that an Amborella +
Nymphaeales clade split off first).  I am actually
beginning to feel more comfortable with the neglected
possibility that Nymphaeales (Nymphaeaceae sensu lato
in my classification) split off alone as the basal
clade of flowering plants.  Given this possibility,
whether Amborellaceae then split off before or after
the "Austrobaileyales" clade is less clear to me at
this point, or even if the later clade is truly
holophyletic (strictly monophyletic) or not.  In any
case, if Amborella is NOT part of that first clade of
extant flowering plants, the whole picture of
angiosperm origins could change dramatically.
         ---- Cheers,
                 Ken Kinman

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