Researchers find new plant species in Nelliyampathy

Researchers have discovered a new species of plant from the Nelliyampathy hills in the Stellaria (Caryophyllaceae species) group. The new species was named Stellaria mcclintockiae in honour of the renowned geneticist Barbara McClintock.

" This is the first plant in this species to be found in the southern regions of India. On detailed observation, this plant species has several unique characteristics compared to others found in the wild. It belongs to the Stellaria media group.

An article in journal Phytotaxa said: “The new species can be considered as part of the S. media group but differs from the various species with respect to bracts, sepals, petals, pollen morphology and seed surface architecture. Molecular analyses (ITS) confirmed the validity of the new taxon.”

It has to be ascertained through further studies if the plant has medicinal properties. Dr. Arya, Associate Professor from PSG Arts and Science College, Coimbatore, is behind the discovery.

Dr. Anil Kumar, Principal of Kasaragod Government College; Dr. V. Suresh from Palakkad Victoria College; Dr. Sojan Jose; and Alan Alex were also participants in the study.

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