Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minute traits and DNA link grass species from Old and New Worlds

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
It's not always the big and flashy traits that solve taxonomic puzzles. On the basis of minute and easily overlooked morphological characteristics and DNA analysis researchers link four grass species in a genus called Disakisperma for the first time.

This image shows Disakisperma eleusine, one of the species studied.
Credit: Schweickert 1896; CC-BY 3.0

The kinds of traits that show genealogical relationships between species are often minute and easily overlooked.

Related Articles


Dr. Neil Snow, a botanist at Pittsburg State University, published a paper in 1996 that included observations of some odd-shaped hairs on three species of grass native to Africa. Their odd shape stems from distinctly swollen tips that are then pinched into a small party-hat structure at the very apex.

"A tongue-twisting technical term for that shape is 'clavicorniculate', but 'club-shaped' is a workable simplification we often prefer," remarked Snow.

In 2011, Drs. Paul Peterson and Konstatin Romaschencko, working at the Smithsonian Institution, used DNA sequences to determine that the 3 African species are related to an American species that lacks the odd-shaped hairs.

"Nobody previously anticipated a close relationship between the African and American species, particularly since the American species lacks the odd hairs." "However," added Snow, "the DNA data supporting this relationship is quite robust."

The 3 authors just published a monograph in PhytoKeys, which places the four species together for the first time in a genus called Disakisperma.

"Our research is a good example of how big, bright, flashy or sexy traits are not always the ones that help solve taxonomic puzzles," concluded Snow.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Neil Snow, Paul M. Peterson, Konstantin Romaschenko. Systematics of Disakisperma (Poaceae, Chloridoideae, Chlorideae). PhytoKeys, 2013; 26: 21 DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.26.5649

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Minute traits and DNA link grass species from Old and New Worlds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007104656.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, October 7). Minute traits and DNA link grass species from Old and New Worlds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007104656.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Minute traits and DNA link grass species from Old and New Worlds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007104656.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins