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Am J Bot. 2004 Oct;91(10):1437-45. doi: 10.3732/ajb.91.10.1437.

The plant tree of life: an overview and some points of view.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-3700 USA;


We provide a brief overview of this special issue on the plant tree of life, describing its history and the general nature of its articles. We then present our estimate for the overall topology and, for land plants, divergence times of the plant tree of life. We discuss several major controversies and unsolved problems in resolving portions of this tree. We conclude with a few thoughts about the prospects for obtaining a comprehensive, robustly resolved, and accurately dated plant tree of life and the importance of such a grand endeavor.

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