The American lotus, Nelumbo lutea
, is one of the two living fossils in family Nelumbonaceae. Although the family has diverged from its relatives for more than 100 million years, the chloroplast genome of N. lutea
is of a typical structure of plants and the American lotus has just split from its Asian counterpart, N. nucifera
, for a few million years. For detailed chloroplast genome of N. lutea
and molecular dating of lotus family and other angiosperms, please see XUE et al., pp. 477–487 in this issue. Designed and illustrated by Shi-Liang ZHOU; photo at North Carolina, USA, by Hongli TIAN.