Affinities of Gesneriaceae


All available molecular data are in agreement that Gesneriaceae represent a monophyletic family. Traditionally, this has been regarded to be closely related to Scrophulariaceae (in its conventional sense). However, no subgroup of that family could be identified as to be particularly closely allied. Recently, Gesneriaceae have been included in several molecular analyses of Lamiales and higher groups. These studies indicate that Gesneriaceae occupy a rather basal position and are sister to most of the remainder of Lamiales. Only Oleaceae, Tetrachondraceae, Calceolaria (separated from Scrophulariaceae as a distinct family, Calceolariaceae, by Olmstead et al. 2001), Sanango and Peltanthera (formerly included in Loganiaceae) have been found to diverge earlier.  The two latter genera are perhaps the closest relatives of Gesneriaceae.  Wiehler (1994) even suggest that Sanango be included in the family, but this was not widely accepted. 


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