Johannes Lundberg 2006. Asteraceae and its relatives. Invited talk presented at The International Compositae Alliance (TICA-Deep Achene), July 4, 2006, Barcelona, Spain. [PDF]

I will try to give a breif overview of the phylogenetic position of the Asteraceae and their closests relatives. The long-standing controversy over the sister group of Asteraceae, which has included as various families as Rubiaceae, Apiaceae and Lobeliaceae as well as the more realistic alternatives Goodeniaceae and Calyceraceae has not been settled beyond any doubt, but most DNA sequence data and several putative morphological synapomorphies support Calyceraceae as sister group to Asteraceae, with Goodeniaceae as their sister group (followed by Menyanthaceae as their sister). The position of this clade is well supported within an expanded Asterales together with several other small mainly Australasian families, but also with Campanulaceae sensu lato (including Lobeliaceae). Asterales is in turn a well supported member of the campanulids (also known as euasterids II), together with Apiales (with Apiaceae and several other families), Dipsacales (Caprifoliaceae s.l. and Adoxaceae, and perhaps also Paracryphiaceae s.l.), and Aquifoliales as well as some small, badly known Australasian families of uncertain relationship. The temporal and spatial distribution of the branching events will be touched upon, as well as the evolution of a few selected characters of particular interest for the understanding of the evolution of Asteraceae and its closests relatives.