New Delhi, October 4
Scientists from the Agharkar Analysis Institute in Pune have lately found two new species of pipeworts within the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Division of Science and Expertise (DST) mentioned on Sunday.
The species reported from Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra has been named Eriocaulon parvicephalum (on account of its minute inflorescence measurement), and the opposite reported from Kumta, Karnataka is known as Eriocaulon karaavalense (named after Karaavali, Coastal Karnataka area), it mentioned.
Pipeworts (Eriocaulon) is a plant group which completes its life cycle inside a small interval throughout monsoon. It displays nice range within the Western Ghats.
Round 111 species of pipeworts are present in India. Most of those are reported from the Western Ghats and the japanese Himalayas, and round 70 per cent of them are endemic to the nation.
“One species, Eriocaulon cinereum, is well-known for its anti-cancerous, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. E. quinquangulare is used in opposition to liver ailments. E. madayiparense is an anti-bacterial from Kerala.
“The medicinal properties of the newly found species are but to be explored,” the DST mentioned.
The brand new species had been found whereas exploring the biodiversity of the Western Ghats.
The scientists needed to hint the evolutionary historical past of the genus Eriocaulon and made in depth efforts to gather as many species as attainable from India, particularly from the Western Ghats, the DST mentioned.
“Whereas critically inspecting our assortment, we got here throughout two accessions, which confirmed completely different floral characters than earlier identified species. Therefore, we studied morphology and its DNA to verify the novelty,” mentioned Ritesh Kumar Choudhary, the lead writer of a examine on the brand new species.
The examine was revealed in ‘Phytotaxa’ and ‘Annales Botanici Fennici’ journals, the DST mentioned.
Identification of the species belonging to Eriocaulon could be very tough as all of them look comparable, which is why the genus is also known as a ‘Taxonomist’s nightmare’.
Its tiny flowers and seeds make it tough to differentiate between completely different species, Choudhary identified.
Choudhary’s PhD scholar Ashwini Darshetkar mentioned, “Future research will deal with elucidating the evolutionary historical past of the genus in India. A radical investigation of the phylogenetic relationship between all Indian species would additionally assist in prioritising the conservation of threatened species in India.” “We’re additionally attempting to develop DNA barcodes, which can allow us to determine the species with only a portion of the leaf,” he mentioned. — PTI