The angiosperms or flowering plants are the largest group of terrestrial, photosynthetic organisms, with perhaps 250 000–300 000 species occurring on all continents, including within the Arctic Circle and Antarctica.

Keywords: flowering plants; photosynthesis; seeds; phylogenetics; DNA sequences

Figure 1.

Summary of phylogentic relationships for angiosperms inferred from analysis of rbcL, atpB and 18S rDNA sequences; the jackknife consensus tree (for groups receiving >50% support) is shown. The number of species in each clade is given in parentheses. Jackknife support is given below branches. From Soltis et al. (1999).


Further Reading

Chase MW and Fay MF (2001) Ancient flowering plants: DNA sequences and angiosperm classification. Genome Biology 2: 1012.1–1012.4.

Erhlich PR and Roughgarden J (1986) The Science of Ecology. New York: Macmillan.

Foster AS and Gifford EM (1974) Comparative Morphology of Vascular Plants. San Francisco: Freeman.

Friis EM, Chaloner WG and Crane PR (eds) (1987) The Origins of Angiosperms and Their Biological Consequences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Givnish TJ (ed.) (1986) On the Economy of Plant Form and Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Heiser CB (1981) Seed to Civilization: The Story of Food, 2nd edn. San Francisco: Freeman.

Judd WS, Campbell CS, Kellogg EA and Stevens PF (1999) Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.

Raven PH, Evert RF and Eichhorn SE (1999) Biology of Plants, 6th edn. San Francisco: Freeman.

Richards AJ (1986) Plant Breeding Systems, 2nd edn. London: Chapman and Hall.

Soltis PS, Soltis DE and Chase MW (1999) Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from multiple genes: a research tool for comparative biology. Nature 402: 402–404.

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How to Cite close
Chase, Mark W(May 2003) Angiosperms. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003682]