Rafflesiales paper in PNAS

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Thu Jan 29 09:11:44 CST 2004

>Whether or not traditional relationships are maintained is for the
>future to confirm....  Maybe Rafflesiaceae will end up in
>Malpighiales.  The morphology is tantalising, although I suspect the
>old report of a parasitic Passifloraceae is a mistake - I remember
>collecting Absolmsia (Apoc.) which came out of the trunk of a tree,
>but was probably rooted in a rotting centre.  The parietal
>placentation is possibly simply associated with the parasitic life
>style; seed anatomy is a tad anomalous, but again, parasitism may be
>involved.  Maybe it will not, since the molecular sampling is very
>poor at present. But, given the sampling, a position around
>Malpighiales is definitely on the cards.  Cytinaceae are not severed
>from Rafflesiaceae; there is simply not strong evidence to place
>them anywhere in particular, so perhaps they, too, will end up in
>Malpighiales or somewhere near.


>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
>             ------ Sincerely,
>                           Ken Kinman

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