Amborellaceae or Nymphaeaceae first?

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jan 25 21:23:53 CST 2004

Dear All,
      The paper by Zanis et al., 2002 (in PNAS) showed some good support for Amborella as sister group to the rest of angiosperms, BUT I am still not convinced.   In fact, I wouldn't be particularly surprised if Nymphaeaceae sensu lato (incl. Cabombaceae) splits off first, followed by Illiciaceae sensu lato (with two genera known to be "4-nucleate"), and then followed by Trimenia and Amborella (which show some interesting similarities), these latter two perhaps even clading together.  I would almost anticipate some kind of transitional 8-nucleate status in Trimenia similar to that in Amborella, but we will just have to wait and see.  It should also be interesting to see where Austrobaileya might fall into this possible transition.  Anyway, treating "Austrobaileyales" as a single OTU (the ITA "clade") at this point is probably ill advised, as it could be paraphyletic (or even polyphyletic if Amborella and Trimenia are more closely related).  Just too little information to be sure at the present time.
                   ------ Cheers,
                           Ken Kinman

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