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:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based ... edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. ... by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec ... show at the Las Vegas Convention Center ... Click here ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The ... the focus of researchers, engineers, product developers, and industry suppliers gathered last week ... by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics , the event ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Ultrecht, Netherlands (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 ... ... Biometrics Technology today announced their strategic partnership to offer a full spectrum ... identity authentication, a comprehensive suite of biometric products and the ground-breaking proactive cybersecurity ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... LAVAL, QC , April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life ... today presented new results at the International Liver Congress ("ILC") ... Liver ("EASL") in Amsterdam on the ... in a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. ... According to Dr. Lyne Gagnon, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... HACKENSACK, N.J. and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel ... (NASDAQ: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies ... Chief Executive Officer, will present at the Alliance for Regenerative ... Investor Day on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 09:40 EDT ... Dr. Ralph Kern , MD, MHSc, Chief Medical Officer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: