Tiina Sarkinen and colleagues Lynn Bohs, Dick Olmstead and Sandy Knapp have published a species-rich phylogenetic tree of the nightshade family - with more than 1000 species included, this is the biggest Solanaceae phylogeny yet! They used fossils and molecular methods to put dates on lineages in the family - many of the main lineages date from about 25 million years ago. The tree and these well-calibrated dates will allow us to look at evolution of key characters in the family in a robust framework - a real first.
Welcome to Solanaceae Source
Solanaceae Source aims to provide a worldwide taxonomic monograph of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The family is of considerable economic importance and contains species that are used as food (potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants), medicines (henbane and deadly nightshades) and in horticulture (petunias). We began this journey with the on-line monograph of all species in the mega-diverse genus Solanum. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Solanum project as part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventories (PBI) mission from 2004-2009.
In 2011 we added the names and places of publication for all members of the family Solanaceae, with the collaboration of the International Plant Names Index (IPNI). The taxonomic database underpinnning Solanaceae Source is actively being worked on, so synonymy and taxonomic opinion change as new knowledge is added. Specimen data are held in the BRAHMS database and fed through to the website on a monthy basis.
Please bear with us as we change from a bespoke format to the Scratchpad system - we aim to continually evolve and improve Solanaceae Source!