Exploring Phylogenetic Relationships between Hundreds of Plant Fatty Acids Synthesized by Thousands of Plants. more details ...

C an we discover new plant  FA structures?  What orders are missing FA  data?

Analysis of seeds of thousands of plant species has revealed the occurrence of hundreds of different fatty acid structures.  Are there more unique fatty acid structures still to be discovered? Examination of all the plant species represented in SOFA, together with recent phylogenetic information allows us to identify branches in plant evolution whose seeds may not have been analyzed for fatty acid composition.

Perhaps 25% of plant orders and 50% of plant families have not been analyzed for FA composition. Therefore , many (>100?) new fatty acid structures might yet be discovered.   The table below presents information on branches of the plant kingdom that have had little or no fatty acid analysis.

Orders without FA data in PlantFAdb                     Description Families Genera Species Family names
Amborellales Amborella trichopoda is only  species.  Molecular phylogenetic analyses consistently place the genus at or near the base of the flowering plant lineage 1 1 1 Amborellaceae
Berberidopsidales Berberidopsidales  is an order of Southern Hemisphere woody flowering plants. 2 3 4 Berberidopsidaceae; Aextoxicaceae
Bruniales Bruniales  at the rank of order until recently not in use, but a 2008 study suggested that Bruniaceae & Columelliaceae are sister clades 2 14 79 Bruniaceae; Columelliaceae
Canellales Canellales is one of the four orders of the magnoliids. Twofamilies: Canellaceae and Winteraceae, which comprise 136 species of fragrant trees and shrubs 2  9-13 75-105 Canellaceae; Winteraceae
Ceratophyllales Hornwort flowering plants, single family and genus and up to 10 species 1 1 1-2+ Ceratophyllaceae
Commelinales Spiderwort and pickerelweed  order of flowering plants, comprising more than 800 species of mostly tropical and subtropical  herbs  in five families:   5 68 812 Commelinaceae; Pontederiaceae; Haemodoraceae; Philydraceae; Hanguanaceae
Crossosomatales Newly recognized order in Rosids.   (formerly families placed in Rosales, Violales, and Sapindales,) 7 12 66 Aphloiaceae; Crossosomataceae; Geissolomataceae; Guamatelaceae; Stachyuraceae; Staphyleaceae; Strasburgeriaceae
Escalloniales Member of Asterids clade 1 9 130 Escalloniaceae


Two genera: Gunnera  (in family Gunneraceae) and  Myrothamnus  (in family Myrothamnaceae)

2 2 42-52 Gunneraceae; Myrothamnaceae

 Shrubs or small trees found in most tropical or warm temperate regions. The flowers of Perrottetia  have been studied in detail, [13]   genera are poorly known.

4 6 24 Petenaeaceae; Gerrardinaceae; Tapisciaceae; Dipentodontaceae


Trees, shrubs, and lianas, primarily of the tropics.

1 11 55 Metteniusaceae

Woody shrubs and trees native to Australia, southeast Asia, and New Caledonia. 

1 3 36 Paracryphiaceae
Petrosaviales Very small order of rare leafless achlorophyllous, mycoheterotrophic plants found in dark montane rainforests in Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Borneo 1 2 4 Petrosaviaceae

A single family (Sabiaceae), which is considered by some authorities as a member of Proteales. APW (Angiosperm Phylogeny Website) considers  part of the order Sabiales,   

1 3 66 Sabiaceae

Comprises two extant genera, each with a single species [1]  found in south east Asia. S econdary xylem without vessel elements, which is quite rare in angiosperms

1 2 2 Trochodendraceae
Vahliales  Herbs and subshrubs that grow in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Family had previously been placed in the Saxifragales order:  reassigned to new order Vahliales in 2016 by the APG IV system 1 1 5 Vahliaceae