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:


(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... , ... June 21, 2017 , ... ... office in North Carolina, and engages Timothy Reinhardt to manage the new site. ... leadership at Pfizer Inc, with his most recent role as the Director of ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... designating infertility as a disease, bringing new hope for prospective parents who are ... annual meeting to back the World Health Organization’s designation in hopes of changing ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The first human cell line HeLa, established in 1951, has ... cross-contamination of human cell lines with HeLa cells were published. Until recently, cross-contamination and ... and is associated with dramatic consequences for research. , In this educational webinar, ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... CTNext , ... directors has formed a Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee to implement the recommendations ... and other high-ranking representatives from 35 higher education institutions across the state over ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: