Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts discover the mother of Roman perfumes on the Mediterranean coast

Date:
October 9, 2013
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Researchers have described a new plant in the eastern Mediterranean, growing mainly near the coast. The importance of this discovery is that the plant is the maternal ancestor of a species of hybrid origin, Reseda odorata, used since Roman times due to the fragrance of its flowers, and whose essence was used in the ancient cosmetics industry.

Researchers at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville have described a new plant in the eastern Mediterranean, growing mainly near the coast. The importance of this discovery is that the plant is the maternal ancestor of a species of hybrid origin, Reseda odorata, used since Roman times due to the fragrance of its flowers, and whose essence was used in the ancient cosmetics industry.
Credit: Santiago Martín Bravo et. al.

Researchers at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville have described a new plant in the eastern Mediterranean, growing mainly near the coast. The importance of this discovery is that the plant is the maternal ancestor of a species of hybrid origin, Reseda odorata, used since Roman times due to the fragrance of its flowers, and whose essence was used in the ancient cosmetics industry.

Related Articles


An article published in the journal Annales Botanici Fennici describes a new species of flowering plant, Reseda minoica, from the eastern Mediterranean region, more specifically from Crete (Gavdos Island, Greek's southernmost island), Cyprus and Southern Turkey. "This species belongs to the genus Reseda of the Resedaceae family, related to the Cruciferae -- which includes plants such as cabbage, mustard and radish -- and grows on limestone substrates in scrubland near the coast," Santiago Martín Bravo, co-author of the study and Botanical researcher at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville (UPO), explains.

The plant is included in section Phyteuma of Reseda genus, a taxonomically complex group mostly containing narrow endemics from the western or eastern Mediterranean region, areas considered to be of critical importance in the diversification of Mediterranean flora.

"Until now this plant has been confused with related species such as R. odorata, R. orientalis and R. balansae," the research adds. Reseda minoica can be distinguished from these other species by its lower number of stamens, seed size and petal colour.

According to Pedro Jiménez Mejías, the other co-author of the study and also a researcher at UPO, "the importance of this discovery is that Reseda minoica is the maternal ancestor of a cultivated species of hybrid origin, Reseda odorata, used since Roman times due to the fragrance of its flowers, and whose essence was used in the ancient cosmetics industry. The location of one of the parts of its origin (the mother species), provides information about the evolutionary mechanisms which produce species which are later useful to humankind."

Moreover, the scientists believe that the plant is "at present rare," and could require protection so that it does not become extinct. "If this were to happen, we would lose part of the Mediterranean's plant genetic resources, with a potential consequent loss for humankind in terms of use and opportunity," Jiménez notes.

In any case, since the species is a recent discovery, it is possible that botanists from areas where the plant grows will begin to search and discover it in other places.

Two other new species in Africa

The two researchers were also part of the recent discovery of two other new African species belonging to the genus Carex of the Cyperaceae family, which includes species such as the tiger nut and papyrus. One of these, Carex rainbowii, has been found in forests of the Drakensberg mountain range, in the KwaZulu-Natal region in eastern South Africa. The other, Carex modesti, is only known to exist at the edges of streams and peat bogs in a very localized area of the mountains of southern Tanzania.

The description of both species is a good example of the significant amount of biodiversity that may remain undiscovered, especially in remote areas of the planet, including in groups of living things well-known a priori such as plants and flowers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Santiago Martín-Bravo, Pedro Jiménez-Mejías. Reseda minoica(Resedaceae), a New Species from the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Annales Botanici Fennici, 2013; 50 (1-2): 55 DOI: 10.5735/085.050.0108

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Experts discover the mother of Roman perfumes on the Mediterranean coast." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009100109.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2013, October 9). Experts discover the mother of Roman perfumes on the Mediterranean coast. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009100109.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Experts discover the mother of Roman perfumes on the Mediterranean coast." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009100109.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) — Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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