Anacardiaceae, the cashew family, comprises ca. 600 species in 80 genera. It is a primarily pantropical family with approximately equal representation in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Anacardiaceae is most well known for its edible fruits and seeds, contact dermatitis-causing species, and lacquer plants. Recent studies have indicated that the most widely used classification, Englerís 1883 treatment consisting of five tribes (Anacardieae, Dobineae, Rhoeae, Semecarpeae, and Spondiadeae), is artificial. In order to develop a clearer picture of the circumscription of the tribes within Anacardiaceae, a phylogeny has been constructed from DNA sequence data of the chloroplast gene matK. Preliminary sequence data support earlier molecular and morphological/anatomical studies that found two, rather than five, lineages within the family. Establishing the root of the Anacardiaceae is an essential part of determining the intrafamilial relationships. Numerous authors have recognized Burseraceae as sister to Anacardiaceae, a relationship supported by Gadek et al.ís rbcL DNA sequence data from a few representatives (three Burseraceae and 7 Anacardiaceae) of each family. This interfamilial relationship will be investigated in more detail via matK sequence data from numerous representatives of Burseraceae and Anacardiaceae.

Key words: Anacardiaceae, Burseraceae, matK, phylogeny