a clade in gymnosperm

The Gnetophytes are a group of seed plants with three genera. Their evolutionary relationships are unclear, but it is now clear that they are related to each other.[1]

Welwitschia mirabilis
Scientific classification
Families & genera

see text

The three genera are:

By looking at the structure of these organisms (morphology) and the DNA (molecular taxonomy), scientists have found that Gnetum and Welwitschia are more closely related to each other than to Ephedra.[2][3][4][5]


  1. Peter R. Crane, Patrick Herendeen and Else Marie Friis (2004). "Fossils and plant phylogeny". American Journal of Botany. 91 (10): 1683–1699. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1683. PMID 21652317. Archived from the original on 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  2. Bowe L.M; Coat G. and dePamphilis C.W. (2000). "Phylogeny of seed plants based on all three genomic compartments: extant gymnosperms are monophyletic and Gnetales' closest relatives are conifers". Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 97 (8): 4092–4097. Bibcode:2000PNAS...97.4092B. doi:10.1073/pnas.97.8.4092. PMC 18159. PMID 10760278.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. Gugerli F.; et al. (2001). "The evolutionary split of Pinaceae from other conifers: evidence from an intron loss and a multigene phylogeny". Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution. 21 (2): 167–175. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.1004. PMID 11697913.[permanent dead link]
  4. Rai H.S.; et al. (2008). "Inference of higher-order conifer relationships from a multi-locus plastid data set". Botany. 86: 658–669. doi:10.1139/B08-062. Archived from the original on 2014-08-29. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  5. Ickert-Bond S.M; C. Rydin and S.S. Renner (2009). "A fossil-calibrated relaxed clock for Ephedra indicates an Oligocene age for the divergence of Asian and New World clades, and Miocene dispersal into South America" (PDF). Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 47 (5): 444–456. doi:10.1111/j.1759-6831.2009.00053.x. S2CID 55148071.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)