Innovative method reveals very old relationships
Instead of analysing DNA as is the usual process, the research team have studied the chemical fingerprints that can be found in the compounds of the waxy membrane covering leaves. While DNA have never been found in fossils older than about 1 million years old, the chemical compounds are preserved in fossils that are hundreds of million years old. From this, the team have found out that the now extinct plants Bennettites and Nilssonia are closely related, but also that other relationships were not as close as believed until now. The group will continue to analyse more plants.
Source: Lund university - read more