DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erad492 ISSN: 0022-0957

A cornucopia of diversity - Ranunculales as a model lineage

Annette Becker, Julien B Bachelier, Laetitia Carrive, Natalia Conde e Silva, Catherine Damerval, Cédric Del Rio, Yves Deveaux, Verónica S Di Stilio, Yan Gong, Florian Jabbour, Elena M Kramer, Sophie Nadot, Natalia Pabón-Mora, Wei Wang,
  • Plant Science
  • Physiology


The Ranunculales are a hyperdiverse lineage in many aspects of their phenotype, including growth habit, floral and leaf morphology, reproductive mode and specialized metabolism. Many Ranunculales species, such as opium poppy and goldenseal have a high medicinal value. In addition, the order includes a large number of commercially important ornamental plants, such as columbines and larkspurs. The phylogenetic position of the order with respect to monocots and core eudicots and the diversity within this lineage make the Ranunculales an excellent group for studying evolutionary processes by comparative studies. Lately, the phylogeny of Ranunculales was revised and genetic and genomic resources were developed for many species, allowing comparative analyses at the molecular scale. Here, we review the literature on the resources for genetic manipulation and genome sequencing, the recent phylogeny reconstruction of this order, and its fossil record. Further, we explain their habitat range and delve into the diversity in their floral morphology, focusing on perianth organ identity, floral symmetry, occurrences of spurs and nectaries, sexual and pollination systems, and fruit and dehiscence types.

The Ranunculales order offers a wealth of opportunities for scientific exploration across various disciplines and scales, to gain novel insights into plant biology for researchers and plant enthusiasts alike.

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