Navigation Links
Missouri Botanical Garden makes rare discovery of plant genus

(ST. LOUIS): The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) has played a significant role in identifying a new genus, Yasunia, with two confirmed species from Ecuador and Peru, Y. quadrata and Y. sessiliflora.

New species are often found among the samples that are gifted to the Missouri Botanical Garden for identification. While hundreds of new plant species are identified each year, new genera are extremely uncommon, and being coupled with the two new species makes Yasunia very distinctive.

Henk van der Werff is the Head of Monographic Studies Department at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He explains, "There are many new species found mostly in the tropics each year. Typically, new species differ in minor characteristics from their close relatives. New genera differ in major characteristics from their relatives and such a find is truly a matter of luck and perseverance."

In 1993, MBG staff member David Neill collected the first sample in the Amazon lowlands of Ecuador, yet it remained an undetermined specimen due to the lack of detail, particularly of the flower which is needed for identification. Local staff conducting floristic inventory in the Yasuni National Park collected additional specimens from a tagged tree, ensuring that the information necessary for identification would become available. From these samples, it was determined that the characteristics present in the new specimens did not fit into any of the recognized Neotropical genera of Lauraceae.

In 2003 the collection of the second species was located in the upper Rio Utiquinia in Ucayali (Peru) near the border of Brazil. In minor details, it is very different from the Ecuadorian species.

DNA of the two Yasunia species and their related analysis may ultimately result in changes of the classification of the plant family.

"This is an extremely rare and exciting scenario. The two new species that were collected did not belong in a known genus, so what we suddenly had were both two new species and new genus. Usually, when a new genus is discovered, it is associated with only one species. It is very unusual to find two new species belonging to the same new genus. Yasunia with two new species is one of those very rare cases," said Van der Werff.

With scientists working in 35 countries on six continents around the globe, the Missouri Botanical Garden has one of the three largest plant science programs in the world. The Garden's mission is "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life."


Contact: Holly Berthold
Missouri Botanical Garden

Related biology news :

1. University of Missouri researcher study provides insight into how corn makes hormones
2. University of Missouri professor elected to American Association for the Advancement of Science
3. Kew Gardens and Missouri Botanical Garden announce the completion of the Plant List
4. Missouri Botanical Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, announce the Plant List
5. Missouri grapes hold key to improving world grape production
6. Missouri Botanical Garden joins convention on biological diversity consortium of scientific partners
7. Missouri Botanical Garden researchers discover 8 new species in Boliva national parks
8. Missouri Botanical Garden researcher discover new genus
9. Missouri Botanical Garden hosts historic meeting to discuss endangered plants in the Caucasus region
10. Missouri Botanical Garden publishes first catalogue of plants of the Southern Cone
11. Missouri Botanical Garden mounts milestone 6 millionth herbarium specimen
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 ... technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a global ... to deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing ... and other athletes to monitor key biometrics to ... the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... adds Biometrics Market Shares, Strategies ... well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: Global ... its collection of IT and Telecommunications ... --> . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader in renewable ... Act on Climate Pledge, alongside more than 140 companies from ... Administration to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to climate action and ... Paris climate negotiations. ... . --> BioAmber uses biotechnology to convert ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Culprits beware, a ... chemistry professor Jan Halámek, is taking crime scene ...   -->   ... --> --> ... have discovered a straightforward concept for identifying whether ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Zenith Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" or ... Norman C.W. Wong to its Board of Directors to ... Zenith with a wealth of experience as co-founder of Resverlogix, ... --> --> Dr. Wong ... board of directors. Zenith,s long standing expertise in epigenetics and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... new globally touring exhibition Jurassic World: The Exhibition, opening in March 2016 at ... embark on a worldwide tour including several North American tour dates. The Exhibition ...
Breaking Biology Technology: