True roots of the Hydatellaceae
Through DNA analysis and morphological investigations, the researchers found evidence that the Hydatellaceae are closely related to the Nymphaeaceae, or water lilies, and not in the Poales order of flowering plants with bromeliads, grasses and sedges as thought previously. Now believed to be an angiosperm, a family close to the evolutionary root of flowering plants which began to diversify at least 135 million years ago.
Led by scientists at the UBC Botanical Garden & Centre for Plant Research the research team was directed by UBC Associate Professor Sean Graham and his graduate students Jeffery M. Saarela (now at the Canadian Museum of Nature) and Hardeep Rai.
Announced in the March 15, 2007 issue of Nature, the abstract to the article states "this discovery rewrites our understanding of angiosperm structural and reproductive biology, physiology, ecology and taxonomy”.
Hydatella filamentosa from Dove Lake, Tasmania.
Photograph © Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney.