Mitrastema is a genus of two widely disjunct species of parasitic plants. It is the only genus within the family Mitrastemonaceae. Mitrastema are root endoparasites, which grow on Fagaceae.
The taxonomic placement of the Mitrastema was unsure for a long time. Originally it was placed within the order Rafflesiales, together with other parasitic plants, however it was long suspected that this order was actually polyphyletic. In 2004 the genus was found the be related with Ericales by comparing the mitochondrial DNA.
Two species are known. M. matudae is found in Central America, while M. yamamotoi is found in Southeast Asia and Japan.
- Daniel L Nickrent et al. (2004), "Phylogenetic inference in Rafflesiales: the influence of rate heterogeneity and horizontal gene transfer", BMC Evolutionary Biology 4: 40, doi:10.1186/1471-2148-4-40, PMC 528834, PMID 15496229
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