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  • Capparaceae, commonly known as the caper family, is a family of plants in order Brassicales. As currently circumscribed, the family contains 33 genera and about 700 species. The largest genera are Capparis, Maerua, Boscia and Cadaba. Capparaceae have long been considered closely related to and have often been included in Brassicaceae, the mustard family, in part because both groups produce glucosinolate compounds. Subsequent molecular studies support Capparaceae s.s. as paraphyletic with respect to Brassicaceae. However Cleome and several related genera are more closely related to members of Brassicaceae than to other Capparaceae. These genera are now either placed in Brassicaceae or segregated into Cleomaceae. Several more genera of the traditional Capparaceae are more closely related to other members of the Brassicales, and the relationships of several more remain unresolved. Based on morphological grounds and supported by molecular studies, the American species traditionally identified as Capparis have been transferred to resurrected generic names. Several new genera have also been recently described.

Freebase Commons Biology /biology

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