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Abstract Detail

The Evolution of Ericales: Recent Insights using both Morphology and Molecules

Caris, Pieter [1], Smets, Erik [2].

Floral ontogenetic patterns in Ericaceae.

THE Ericaceae are a large family of about 126 genera, distributed over eight groups. They are one of the 25 families currently recognized in the Ericales s.l. The broadly defined Ericaceae include the former Empetraceae, Epacridaceae, Monotropaceae and Pyrolaceae.
The Ericaceae s.l. are characterized by a sympetalous corolla, usually twice as many stamens as petals, stamens that become inverted during development, stamen appendages on the anthers and/or filaments, anthers that open by short slits or pores, and a nectary associated with the gynoecium.
Molecular results have shown that Enkianthus (Enkanthoideae) stands at the base of the family, as the sister taxon to the rest of the Ericaceae. The Monotropoideae appear to be paraphyletic and therefore, Pyroloideae are included in this subfamily, which gets a basal position in the family as well. The next branch groups the Arbutoideae, which were formerly linked to the Vaccinioideae. However, recent results do not support this relationship. The Empetraceae belong to the Ericoideae, which are the sister group of the Cassiopoideae. The latter only comprises the genus Cassiope, but it was not included in our study. The genus Harrimanella (Harrimanelloideae) takes an isolated position as well. It is sister to a clade consisting of the former Epacridaceae and the Vaccinioideae. The Epacridaceae appear to be monophyletic, and they form a derived ingroup of the family (subfamily Styphelioideae). They are sister to the Vaccinioideae.
We investigated the floral development of several species and genera from most lineages of the broadly defined Ericaceae in order to find morphological characters that support the current hypotheses of the infrafamilial classification. In this study, we give an overview of floral ontogenetic patterns in the family. Moreover, we focus on specific floral traits of the family, such as stamen inversion, stamen appendages and the gynoecial nectary.

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1 - Institute of Botany and Microbiology, Department of Biology, Laboratory of Plant Systematics, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, Leuven, BE-3001, Belgium
2 - National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden University branch, P.O.Box 9514, Leiden, NL-2300 RA, Netherlands

Ericaceae s.l.
comparative floral morphology
floral evolution.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 13-7
Location: 201/Ayres
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 2:00 PM
Abstract ID:158

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