Rafflesiales paper in PNAS

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 28 20:51:40 CST 2004


Dear All,
      In praising Peter Stevens' Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Botanical Wish List thread), I stated that I sometimes nitpick with the particulars therein.  Well, this is a MAJOR nitpick.
      Barkman et al. (2004) just published a paper this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (featured on the cover page) on the affinities of certain parasitic angiosperms of Order Rafflesiales.  I have no problem with the transfer of Family Mitrostemonaceae to Order Ericales.  It was always an oddball member of Rafflesiales anyway, so I applaud Peter Stevens for quickly transferring that family.
      However, I am definitely NOT in favor of transferring two families (Rafflesiaceae and Apodanthaceae) of Order Rafflesiales into Order Malpighales, especially since it severs Family Cytinaceae from it traditional relationship to them.  In my opinion, Order Rafflesiales should be retained (including all three of those families).  That is what I will do, although I am not sure if I will place it next to Malvales (as I did last year following Nickrent 2002) or move it close to Malpighiales in view of this new evidence.  Either way it will still be a "Rosiid" order (although some workers would even object to that).  As one who prefers to take a moderate approach in such controversial cases, I think transferring Rafflesiaceae and Apodanthaceae INTO Order Malpighiales is premature and will detract from the usefulness of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website.
            ------ Sincerely,
                          Ken Kinman




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