DNA test of rare plants found only in Nepal

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Lauth Salla plants can be seen at a nursery owned by Prem Timilsina of Dhungkharka, Kavrepalanchowk on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Timilsina has earned ripples out of Lauth Salla production. Photo: RSS

Scientists from the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) have started deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests of plants from the flowers, leaves and peels of the plants that are found only in Nepal.

According to Dr Ram Chandra Paudel, scientist of NAST, the DNA test in the plants would be done based on the genetic characteristics of the plants.

“First the plants are tested in labs and their characters found in them are cross verified with the characters of the plants found in the record. Some characters could match with many others,” Dr Paudel said.

The plants with the highest number of similar characters can be categorized as the same botanical properties, he shared.

“This shall help preserve the endangered species in the long run. This would be stopped only if we could identify the smuggled plants and those collected unsystematically,” he added.

Poudel said that the DNA tests would help assists in making policy for sustainable use of the plants. Different countries have already maintained the details of the plants along with their species in the record.

Currently, the DNA test of endangered species and other plants found only in Nepal is taking place adding that new code is given to the plants having no prior records.

The government has given its emphasis on 22 kinds of plants that are categorized as endangered.

Among about 324 endemic vascular plant species that are found only at Nepal are (p. 111 of dpr.gov.np ):

Pleione coronaria (ARKive)

Bulbophyllum nepalense (Nepali Orchids)

Panisea panchaseensis (Species New to Science)

Oreorchis porphyranthes(asianflora.com)

Rhododendron lowndesii (Dr. K.A. Kron)

Allium hypsistum (flickr)

Delphinium himalayai (Plantes Botanique)

Saxifraga alpigena (SaxBase)

Clematis phlebantha (Rogers Trees and Shrubs)

Begonia nuwakotensis (RBGE)

Silene fissicalyx (Plantes Botanique)

Himalayacalamus porcatus (asianflora.com)

Meconopsis regia(flickr)

Meconopsis autumnalis (IISE)

Oxytropis williamsii (asianflora.com)

Aconitum bhedingense (Plantes Botanique)

Roscoea tumjensis (Wikipedia)

Iris staintonii (AIS)

Primula sharmae (Primula World)

Primula wigramiana (Primula World)

Discretitheca (formerly Caryopteris) nepalensis(Dave’s Garden)

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