SystematicsPhylogeny. There are more questions than answers in the phylogeny of the angiosperms. Part of the problem lies in the lack of an adequate fossil record. The first clearly angiosperm fossil is from the Early Cretaceous and is an impression of a fully developed flower. Molecular RNA/DNA sequencing currently is being applied in new phylogenetic (cladistic) analyses to answer the question of angiosperm origins. As yet, no generally accepted answer exists, but several hypothesis are being hotly debated. The molecular data indicate the seed plants most closely related to the angiosperms are the gnetophytes and bennettitaleans, which, incidentally, is the same conclusion reached by some botanists using morphological and anatomical features 50 years ago. Others at the time favored the “seed ferns” as angiosperm ancestors. A second debate revolves around the nature of
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