DNA to reorder plant classification system

November 27, 1998

* Ten years of work will culminate next month with the publication of a new classification of the world's flowering plants and trees based on DNA rather than appearance.

Mark Chase, head of the molecular systematic section at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, has led work on the new classification, which has involved sequencing three genes in plants' DNA and then looking for similarities. It suggests 462 families of flowering plants and trees.

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