Scientists discover new species of pipeworts in Western Ghats


Team Udayavani, Oct 5, 2020, 8:30 AM IST

Photo: www.pib.gov.in

Kumta: Scientists from the Agharkar Research Institute in Pune have recently discovered two new species of pipeworts in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said on Sunday.

The species reported from Kumta, Karnataka is called Eriocaulon karaavalense (named after Karaavali, Coastal Karnataka region) and the other reported from Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra has been named Eriocaulon parvicephalum (due to its minute inflorescence size), it said.

Pipeworts (Eriocaulon) is a plant group which completes its life cycle within a small period during monsoon. It exhibits great diversity in the Western Ghats.

Around 111 species of pipeworts are found in India. Most of these are reported from the Western Ghats and the eastern Himalayas, and around 70 per cent of them are endemic to the country.

“One species, Eriocaulon cinereum, is well known for its anti-cancerous, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. E. quinquangulare is used against liver diseases. E. madayiparense is an anti-bacterial from Kerala.

“The medicinal properties of the newly discovered species are yet to be explored,” the DST said.

The new species were discovered while exploring the biodiversity of the Western Ghats.

The scientists wanted to trace the evolutionary history of the genus Eriocaulon and made extensive efforts to collect as many species as possible from India, especially from the Western Ghats, the DST said.

“While critically examining our collection, we came across two accessions, which showed different floral characters than earlier known species. Hence, we studied morphology and its DNA to confirm the novelty,” said Ritesh Kumar Choudhary, the lead author of a study on the new species.

The study was published in ”Phytotaxa” and ”Annales Botanici Fennici” journals, the DST said.

Identification of the species belonging to Eriocaulon is very difficult as they all look similar, which is why the genus is often referred to as a ”Taxonomist”s nightmare”.

Its tiny flowers and seeds make it difficult to distinguish between different species, Choudhary pointed out.

Choudhary”s PhD student Ashwini Darshetkar said, “Future studies will focus on elucidating the evolutionary history of the genus in India. A thorough investigation of the phylogenetic relationship between all Indian species would also help in prioritising the conservation of threatened species in India.”

“We are also trying to develop DNA barcodes, which will enable us to identify the species with just a portion of the leaf,” he said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Kottigehara: Missing man’s body found half buried in forest; Murder suspected

In a first in Madhya Pradesh, woman constable gets nod for sex change

DGCA postpones resumption of scheduled int’l flights from Dec 15; new date to be notified later

Mangaluru: Father arrested for sexually abusing minor daughter

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to receive $1mn annual salary

Comedian Kunal Kamra says his Bengaluru shows cancelled after threats

Modi, Gowda bonhomie heightens buzz around BJP, JDS poll pact in Karnataka


Related Articles More

Kottigehara: Missing man’s body found half buried in forest; Murder suspected

Mangaluru: Father arrested for sexually abusing minor daughter

Comedian Kunal Kamra says his Bengaluru shows cancelled after threats

Modi, Gowda bonhomie heightens buzz around BJP, JDS poll pact in Karnataka

DKShi protests proposed shifting of ISRO prog to Gujarat

MUST WATCH

An old woman waiting at the Dandeli bus stand for Home members

POTHOLE POOJA IN BANGALORE

Heavy Rain at Kaup

Hit and Run Case at Thirthahalli

This graft doctor has a medication to help alleviate burns.


Latest Additions

Kottigehara: Missing man’s body found half buried in forest; Murder suspected

In a first in Madhya Pradesh, woman constable gets nod for sex change

DGCA postpones resumption of scheduled int’l flights from Dec 15; new date to be notified later

‘The King’s Man’ to release in India on December 31

Mangaluru: Father arrested for sexually abusing minor daughter

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.