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Abstract Detail

The Greatest Opportunists of all: Celebrating 40 years of Job Kuijt’s

Nickrent, Daniel [1].

Placement of parasitic plant lineages in the tree of life.

Nine lineages of parasitic flowering plants were discussed in Kuijt (1969), although consideration was given that some of these (e.g. Rafflesiaceae s. lat.). constituted more than one evolutionary line. Since then, steady progress has been made in understanding relationships within these groups as well their relationships to non-parasitic plants. The most significant factors in this progress have been the use of molecular phylogenetics and the application of the concept of monophyly to the resulting classification systems. All parasitic plants have been examined using molecular phylogenetics and these studies have focused upon one or more of the following issues: 1) monophyly of the parasitic plant group, 2) position of the clade (or clades if not monophyletic) within the overall angiosperm phylogenetic tree, 3) relationships among the genera within a clade (family), and 4) relationships among species in a genus. At present, it appears that parasitism arose independently 12 or 13 times in angiosperms. Substantial alterations in the systematic circumscriptions of several holoparasitic lineages have taken place, such as Hydnoraceae, Rafflesiaceae s. lat. and Balanophoraceae s. lat. These changes will be reviewed and the phylogenies used as examples of how “tree thinking” can greatly improve our understanding of the biology and evolution of parasitic flowering plants.

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Related Links:
The Parasitic Plant Connection

1 - Southern Illinois University, Plant Biology, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6509, USA

parasitic plant
molecular phylogenetics

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Cottonwood A/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: SY11002
Abstract ID:343