Plant Diversity ›› 2004, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (01): 1-3.

• Articles •    

A Brief Introduction to Anthophyte Concept and Discussion on Its Name

TANG YanCheng,LU AnMing,CHEN ZhiDuan   

  1. Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany,Institute of Botany,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100093,China
  • Online:2004-02-25 Published:2004-02-25

Abstract: In the last 2 decades of 20th century,a great number of cladistic studies of seed plants using morphological characters have been carried out.The results show that extinct Pentoxylon plus extinct Bennettiales and extant Gnetales is the sister group of angiosperms,and they form a robust clade termed anthophyte clade.The anthophyte hypothesis has played a significant role on the investigation of the origin of angiosperms.It stimulates the discussion on the time of the origin of angiosperms which dated back as early as the Triassic or even the Carboniferous.The hypothesis proposes the NeoEnglerian theory except supporting previous Euanthial theory for the origin of angiosperms. However many recent outcomes of molecular phylogenetic studies of extant seed plants are:(1)refutation of anthophyte concept;(2)Gnetales not as the sister group of angiosperms but as the sister group of conifers or even nested within in conifers and then the sister group to Pinaceae.These results are certainly not surprising,because the phylogeny cannot be discerned with extant taxa alone for such seed plants consisting of many extinct taxa.The anthophyte may be a valid clade but its name is inappropriate.In substitution of the name of AGPB clade (acronym of Angiospermae,Gnetales,Pentoxylon and Bennettiales) for anthophyte clade may be reasonable.

Key words: Seed plants