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UF botanists: Flowering plants evolved very quickly into 5 groups
Date:11/26/2007

xt. The details of that radiation have long been murky. The latest research clears the picture by showing that all plants fall into five major lineages that developed over the relatively short period of 5 million years, or possibly even less.

As for the diversifications cause, it remains mysterious, Pam and Doug Soltis said.

Its possible it was spurred by some major climatic event. Its also possible that a new evolutionary trait a water-conducting cell that transfers water up plant stems proved so effective that it spurred massive plant species diversification. The cell is either not present, or is poorly developed, in the first three flowering plant lineages, Doug Soltis said. The earliest flowering plant lineages also did not have a completely fused ovary, which in later flowering plants may better protect the seeds, Pam Soltis said.


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Contact: Pam Soltis
psoltis@ufl.edu
352-392-1721
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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