Researchers from Kobe University (Japan) they managed to find specimens of ‘Thismia kobensis’, a mysterious looking plant commonly known as ‘fairy lanterns’, and was considered extinct 30 years ago.
Their surprise rediscovery in Japan has brought to light the hidden aspects of these plants that have puzzled and fascinated botanists for centuries.
Green leaves and photosynthesis were once considered essential features of plants, but some abandoned this process and got their nutrients from other organisms. One of them is gender. Bumiacommonly known as ‘fairy lanterns’, characterized by its unusual appearance, difficult nature and lack of photosynthesis.
‘Fairy Lanterns’ are rare and only grow in certain places. They live underground and their colorful flowers emerge from the ground, which can sometimes make them look like mushrooms. about 90 species Bumiabut many are only known from where they were first discovered, and some may be extinct.
one of these types Thismia cobensisIt was first discovered in 1992 in the city of Kobe (Japan). Unfortunately, an industrial complex destroyed its habitat and was considered extinct. More than 30 years later, Professor Kenji Suetsugu and colleagues now report in the journal phytotax from him Rediscovery in Sanda city, about 30 km. This unexpected finding and subsequent research shed new light on this remarkable genus and its evolutionary history.
The researchers provided an updated definition of ‘kobensis’ to complement the original definition based on an incomplete museum specimen. His detailed review has highlighted the differences between them. Thismia cobensis and similar species thismia huangiireports Kobe University.
The rediscovered species is distinguished by its short, broad ring and numerous short hairs on its stigma.. Based on the analysis of various features, the researchers Thismia cobensis It is a distinct species with unique characteristics and evolutionary history.
Newly discovered location Thismia cobensis making it the northernmost known type of Asian fairy lantern. This discovery could provide new data on the systematic proximity and biogeography of mysterious creatures. thismia americanait was originally thought to be related to some species in Australia and New Zealand.
Missing ‘Thismia americana’
This thismia americanaDiscovered over 100 years ago, it is the only type of fairy lantern in North America and has been observed for several years on a moorland near Chicago. now considered extinct.
existence of the species Bumiamostly remains a secret in tropical, temperate North Americaespecially since the species is considered its closest relative, Thismia rodwayiIt is found in Australia and New Zealand. This strange distribution pattern continues to baffle botanists.
However, detailed morphological research Thismia cobensis It is the de facto closest relative of Thismia americana. Thus, the similarity in external flower morphology thismia americana and species from Australia and New Zealand may have evolved independently based on pollinator preferences.
This shows that thismia americana May not be related to Australian-New Zealand species. On the contrary, the striking similarity in inner flower morphology, such as the absence of nectar glands in both species, suggests a closer relationship between the two species. thismia americana And cobensis
Plant species with close associations and discrete distributions in these regions from East Asia and North America are not uncommon and can often be attributed to migration across the Beringian land bridge. Therefore, the discrete distribution thismia americana It may be due to migration via Beringia.
In general, rediscovery Thismia cobensis thirty years later, it has significantly improved our understanding of fairy lanterns. As the northernmost Asian lantern species ever found, it also provides important information about the biogeography and evolutionary history of lanterns as a whole.
Reference work: https://www.mapress.com/pt/article/view/phytotaxa.585.2.2
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