DNA vs. Traditional Taxonomic Nomenclature

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by PlantExplorer, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. PlantExplorer

    PlantExplorer Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, Canada
    Recently there have been some big changes in the way plants, and other living organisms, are classified. Some of the most significant of these changes have been fundamental to the way in which flowering plants are divided, with the classification Dicotyledon being utterly discarded and replaced with Eudicoteledon, Nymphaeaceae, Illiciaceae, Amborellaceae etc. This fundamental change has come about due to genetic research that has exposed far more ancient family relationships than was ever suspected before. While many botanists had long suspected that Nymphaea, the water lilies, were more primitive than was commonly recognized, it was not until the advent of DNA typing that their suspicions were confirmed.

    Personally, I welcome these changes, even though they are a royal pain to introduce to my database (especially when I have to design it in such a way as to be prepared for the next round of renaming) but to have a clearer picture of the Kingdom Planta is more than worth it.

    I have a couple of questions though;

    What do you think the likelihood is that Orchids will be assigned their own Division, as there seem to be far too many fundamental differences between them and other Monocots?


    Lumpers and Splitters will still have plenty to argue about, but now their debates will be concerned with the precise level of genetic variation, rather than the traditional aspects of distribution, physical structure, seasonal attributes etc. However, will the classification of Asteraceae ever make sense?
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2002

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