Two new species of pipeworts from the Western Ghats discovered

  • IASbaba
  • October 5, 2020
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Two new species of pipeworts from the Western Ghats discovered

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity

In news

  • Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute, Pune have recently discovered two new species of pipeworts from the Western Ghats of Maharashtra & Karnataka.
  • Researchers have named the species found in Maharashtra as Eriocaulon parvicephalum for its distinct minute inflorescence size
  • Karnataka counterpart has been named Eriocaulon karaavalense indicating the Karaavali coastal region in the state.

Key takeaways

  • Pipeworts is a type of wetland plant.
  • It belongs to genus Eriocaulon.
  • Some of the previously-discovered plant species have medicinal values 
  • They also have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-cancerous properties.
  • However, the team is yet to trace the hidden medicinal applications of these two species.
  • Some 111 species exist in India, most of which are endemic to the Western Ghats and eastern Himalayas.
  • The two newly-discovered species display different floral characters than previously known species.
  • All species of Eriocaulon appear very similar to one another.
  • The team has taken up DNA barcoding works of this species to understand the evolution of this genus in India.

Do you know?

DNA barcoding is a method of species identification using a short section of DNA from a specific gene or genes

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