Scientists unravel the mystery behind new plant species found in the Swiss Alps, which only took 150 years to – Business Insider India

Posted: October 10, 2020 at 8:08 am

Named Cardamine inseuta, was first spotted in 1972 in the Urnerboden region after the land in the area went from being a forest to a grassland. Now, researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) have narrowed down the two species of the plants that merged to create the hybrid that is thriving.

One is Cardamine amara, which grows in and around streams and the other is Cardamine rivularis, which inhabits moist, not wet, areas.

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It is the combination of genetic traits from its parents that enabled the new species to grow in a district environmental niche, said Rei Shimizu-Inatsugi, co-author of the study published in Frontiers in Genetics.

The best of both worldsC. inseuta is a so-called triploid plant. It means that it has three sets of chromosomes. Two come from C. rivularis and one set from C. amara.

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From its other parent, C. amara, the new species inherited the trait of submergence tolerance. That means that even if surrounded by water, C. inseuta would survive rather than drown.

Depending on the environmental situation, the plant activates a different set of genes it inherited from its two parent species, said Shimizu-Inatsugi.

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Scientists unravel the mystery behind new plant species found in the Swiss Alps, which only took 150 years to - Business Insider India

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