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Abstract Detail


Systematics Section / ASPT

Davis, III, Charles C. [1], Latvis, Maribeth [2], Nickrent, Daniel L. [3], Wurdack, Kenneth J. [4], Baum, David J. [5].

Floral Gigantism in Rafflesiaceae.

Species of Rafflesiaceae possess the world's largest flowers (up to 1 meter in diameter), yet their precise evolutionary relationships have been elusive, hindering our understanding of the evolution of their extraordinary reproductive morphology. We present results of phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial,nuclear, and plastid data showing that Rafflesiaceae are derived from within Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family. Most euphorbs produce minute flowers,
suggesting that the enormous flowers of Rafflesiaceae evolved from ancestors with tiny flowers. Given the inferred phylogeny, we estimate that there was a circa 79-fold increase in flower diameter on the stem lineage of Rafflesiaceae, making this one of the more dramatic cases of size evolution reported for eukaryotes.


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1 - Harvard University Herbaria, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States
2 - Harvard University Herbaria, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States
3 - Southern Illinois University, Department of Plant Biology, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901-6509, USA
4 - Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany, NMNH mrc-166, Washington, D.C., 20013, United States
5 - University of Wisconsin, Department of Botany, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706, United States

Keywords:
floral evolution
parasites
Malpighiales
Rafflesiaceae.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: CP43
Location: Stevens 3/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: CP43010
Abstract ID:2052


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