HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
World's largest flower evolved from family of much tinier blooms

ientists delved deeper into the genome, looking at some 11,500 base pairs of DNA to determine that the giant flower's closest relatives are in the Euphorbiaceae family, many of which have blossoms just a few millimeters in diameter.

"The power of nucleic acid comparisons is revealed as well as ever in this stunning deduction," says noted botanist Peter H. Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, who was not involved in this research. "The massive increase in flower size is one of the most significant among living organisms, and could never have been deduced by conventional methods."

Found growing on the jungle floor in parts of southeastern Asia, rafflesia is unusual in more than just its flower's size. A parasite, it derives its nutrients from a plant in the grapevine family and lacks leaves, stems, or roots. Even more shocking is the plant's carcass-like appearance: Its blooms are a mottled blood red, reek of decaying flesh, and in some cases even emit heat, much like a recently killed animal. These traits help the flower attract the carrion flies that pollinate it.

"While it's surprising to find this giant plant evolved from a family typified by much smaller blossoms, rafflesia is unusual enough that it's frankly been difficult to imagine it fitting neatly into any plant family," Davis says. "Many botanists had refused to even speculate on where this botanical outlier might fit into the tree of life."

Rafflesia was first discovered in the Sumatran rain forest some 180 years ago by Sir Stamford Raffles, governor of the East India Company's establishments in Sumatra, and Joseph Arnold, a naturalist and physician. Shortly before Arnold died of malaria on that same expedition, he described rafflesia as "the greatest prodigy of the vegetable world," adding, "To tell you the truth, had I been alone, and had there been no witnesses, I should think I would have been fearful of mentioning the dimensions of this fl
'"/>

Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
11-Jan-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Worlds first X-ray free electron laser is on course to completion
2. Worlds leading scientists announce creation of Encyclopedia of Life
3. Worlds top engineers in San Antonio for system of systems conference
4. Worlds oldest rocks show how Earth may have dodged frozen fate of Mars
5. Worlds coral reef left vulnerable by paper parks
6. Worlds coral reefs left vulnerable by paper parks
7. Worlds tiniest test tubes get teensiest corks
8. Worlds largest study on changes to Earths ecosystems released on May 19
9. Worlds largest rainforest drying experiment completes first phase
10. Worlds largest scientific society backs green chemistry bill
11. Worlds largest population study on BRCA1/2

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: World largest flower evolved from family much tinier blooms

(Date:5/7/2015)... , May 7, 2015 ... fingerprint sensors, FPC1022 and FPC1035, FPC,s smallest touch ... FPC1035 are mainly considered for integration on the ... gives smartphone OEMs increased possibilities to integrate touch ... decreased size also improves possibilities for module manufacturers ...
(Date:4/27/2015)... 27, 2015 Profile Solutions, Inc. (OTC: PSIQ), ... systems is pleased to announce that Dr Gerry ... and member of its scientific advisory board. ... a thought leader in technology-enhanced learning models. He was ... has published studies and books focused on online student ...
(Date:4/14/2015)...  HYPR Corp. today announced it has joined ... tm , an industry consortium transforming online authentication ... technology and collaborate to deliver open specifications for ... and private, and easier to use. ... sensitive user information and eliminates the dependency on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):FPC Introduces its Smallest Touch Fingerprint Sensors to Date 2Profile Solutions Names Medicinal Cannabis, Agriculture and Technology Expert Dr. Gerry Bedore to its Scientific Advisory Board 2Profile Solutions Names Medicinal Cannabis, Agriculture and Technology Expert Dr. Gerry Bedore to its Scientific Advisory Board 3Profile Solutions Names Medicinal Cannabis, Agriculture and Technology Expert Dr. Gerry Bedore to its Scientific Advisory Board 4HYPR Corp. Joins the FIDO Alliance 2HYPR Corp. Joins the FIDO Alliance 3
(Date:5/27/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Jain PharmaBiotech,s new report "Molecular Diagnostics ... their offering. This report describes ... will play an important role in practice ... and biological warfare in the 21st century. ...
(Date:5/27/2015)...  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today reported results ... Aviv Boim , CEO of Tikcro ... generate functional specific antibodies, targeting identified cancer immune checkpoints. ... by the development progress. We are excited to invest ... immune checkpoints gain clinical acceptance for cancer treatment."Net loss ...
(Date:5/27/2015)... 2015  Two years after its founding by a ... scientists, Oakland -based Counter Culture Labs ... mission to democratize science through a full-fledged community laboratory ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150526/218366LOGO ... Based out of the new Omni Commons ...
(Date:5/27/2015)... 2015 ­ Caris Life Sciences®, a leading ... medicine, today announced it has appointed the Levine Cancer ... excellence site in the Caris Centers of Excellence for ... Institute is one of the largest cancer care providers ... cancer patients annually. Derek Raghavan , M.D., Ph.D., ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Global Molecular Diagnostics Market 2015-2024 - Analysis of Key Technologies, Markets and Companies 2Global Molecular Diagnostics Market 2015-2024 - Analysis of Key Technologies, Markets and Companies 3Tikcro Technologies Reports First Quarter 2015 Results 2Tikcro Technologies Reports First Quarter 2015 Results 3East Bay's Counter Culture Labs Seeks to Open Doors of Science to Public 2East Bay's Counter Culture Labs Seeks to Open Doors of Science to Public 3Caris Life Sciences Designates Levine Cancer Institute as a Caris Center of Excellence 2Caris Life Sciences Designates Levine Cancer Institute as a Caris Center of Excellence 3Caris Life Sciences Designates Levine Cancer Institute as a Caris Center of Excellence 4
Cached News: