1,730 new plant species discovered: Report

Other discoveries include new relatives of Aloe Vera, widely used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Published: 18th May 2017 05:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2017 05:51 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

By PTI

LONDON: Over 1,700 new species of plants have been discovered in the past year, with many having potential as food crops, medicines or sources of timber, according to a new report. However, some of the newly-discovered plants are already at risk of extinction, said scientists at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in the UK.

Their report found that 1,730 plants were recorded as being new to science in 2016, which include 11 new species from Brazil of the Manihot shrub known for its starchy root, cassava. Seven species of the South African plant best known for red bush or rooibos tea were also discovered, of which six are already threatened with extinction, 'BBC News' reported. Other discoveries include new relatives of Aloe Vera, widely used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

The new discoveries hold "huge promise" for the future, said Professor Kathy Willis, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens. "It is really important to find these new species because they may well hold the genetic code - or the key - to more resilient food crops from pests and pathogens and climate change into the future," Willis said.

The report also revealed that a growing number of plants have had their genomes sequenced to find out more about their biology. The tally now stands at more than 200, including food and drink favourites such as pineapples, strawberries, coffee, wine, chocolate and beer. 

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.