Petenaeaceae - a new family of flowering plants

Mar 17, 2011
Petenaea cordata (Image: M. Vorontsova)

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new family of flowering plants has been described to accommodate Petenaea cordata, a species of uncertain affinities.

Petenaea cordata, a species from northern Central America, has been included in Elaeocarpaceae and Tiliaceae, but its familial placement has been uncertain. It was considered a taxon incertae sedis by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG III).

Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on a recent collection made in Guatemala revealed a distant sister-group relationship to the African Gerrardina (Gerrardinaceae, Huerteales). However, a comparison of morphological and anatomical characters did not identify any obvious synapomorphies for Gerrardina and Petenaea, and a new monotypic family, Petenaeaceae, has been described in a paper in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society by scientists from the Natural History Museum, Kew and the University of San Carlos de .

The polymorphic order Huerteales now comprises four small families, Dipentodontaceae, Gerrardinaceae, Petenaeaceae and Tapisciaceae.

Explore further: Birds time breeding to hit 'peak caterpillar'

Related Stories

New insect on Balearic Islands

Jul 15, 2009

After 10 years of biochemical and molecular analysis of the Tyrrhenoleuctra plecoptera that live in the Western Mediterranean, Spanish and Italian scientists have now demonstrated that one of the insect popula ...

New genus of tree discovered

Oct 15, 2010

An article published in the October issue of the Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden describes a new genus of tree of the Aptandraceae family, a group that is related to the sandalwoods (order Sanatalales). The genus, wh ...

Cracking the species code for plants

Feb 17, 2009

A recent article published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society searches for one or more short pieces of DNA code that could eventually be used in an automated fashion to reliably identify almost all land plant ...

Rapid burst of flowering plants set stage for other species

Feb 09, 2009

A new University of Florida study based on DNA analysis from living flowering plants shows that the ancestors of most modern trees diversified extremely rapidly 90 million years ago, ultimately leading to the formation of ...

Recommended for you

Birds time breeding to hit 'peak caterpillar'

8 hours ago

When oaks burst into life in spring populations of oak-leaf-eating caterpillars boom: this offers a food bonanza for caterpillar-munching birds looking to raise a family.

11 new species come to light in Madagascar

15 hours ago

Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the ...

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

May 23, 2015

Many animals feed on seeds, acorns or nuts. The common feature of these are that they have shells and there is no direct way to know what's inside. How do the animals know how much and what quality of food ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.