Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Sarker, U., Lin, Y.-P., Oba, S., Yoshioka, Y., & Hoshikawa, K. (2022). Prospects and potentials of underutilized leafy Amaranths as vegetable use for health-promotion. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2022.04.011 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2022.04.011

Climate change causes environmental variation worldwide, which is one of the most serious threats to global food security. In addition, more than 2 billion people in the world are reported to suffer from serious malnutrition, referred to as ‘hidden hunger.’ Dependence on only a few crops could lead to the loss of genetic diversity and high fragility of crop breeding in systems adapting to global scale climate change. The exploitation of underutilized species and genetic resources, referred to as orphan crops, could be a useful approach for resolving the issue of adaptability to environmental alteration, biodiversity preservation, and improvement of nutrient quality and quantity to ensure food security. Moreover, the use of these alternative crops will help to increase the human health benefits and the income of farmers in developing countries. In this review, we highlight the potential of orphan crops, especially amaranths, for use as vegetables and health-promoting nutritional components. This review highlights promising diversified sources of amaranth germplasms, their tolerance to abiotic stresses, and their nutritional, phytochemical, and antioxidant values for vegetable purposes. Betalains (betacyanins and betaxanthins), unique antioxidant components in amaranth vegetables, are also highlighted regarding their chemodiversity across amaranth germplasms and their stability and degradation. In addition, we discuss the physiological functions, antioxidant, antilipidemic, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities, as well as the biosynthesis pathway, molecular, biochemical, genetics, and genomic mechanisms of betalains in detail.

Ramírez, F., Sbragaglia, V., Soacha, K., Coll, M., & Piera, J. (2022). Challenges for Marine Ecological Assessments: Completeness of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable Biodiversity Data in European Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.802235 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.802235

The ongoing contemporary biodiversity crisis may result in much of ocean’s biodiversity to be lost or deeply modified without even being known. As the climate and anthropogenic-related impacts on marine systems accelerate, biodiversity knowledge integration is urgently required to evaluate and monit…

Filartiga, A. L., Klimeš, A., Altman, J., Nobis, M. P., Crivellaro, A., Schweingruber, F., & Doležal, J. (2022). Comparative anatomy of leaf petioles in temperate trees and shrubs: the role of plant size, environment and phylogeny. Annals of Botany. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcac014 https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcac014

Background and Aims Petioles are important plant organs connecting stems with leaf blades and affecting light-harvesting ability of the leaf as well as transport of water, nutrients and biochemical signals. Despite the high diversity in petiole size, shape and anatomy, little information is availabl…

Vasconcelos, T., Boyko, J. D., & Beaulieu, J. M. (2021). Linking mode of seed dispersal and climatic niche evolution in flowering plants. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14292 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14292

Aim: Due to the sessile nature of flowering plants, movements to new geographical areas occur mainly during seed dispersal. Frugivores tend to be efficient dispersers because animals move within the boundaries of their preferable niches, so seeds are more likely to be transported to environments tha…

Alban, D. M., Biersma, E. M., Kadereit, J. W., & Dillenberger, M. S. (2021). Colonization of the Southern Hemisphere by Sagina and Colobanthus (Caryophyllaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 308(1). doi:10.1007/s00606-021-01793-w https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-021-01793-w

Colobanthus (23 species) and Sagina (30–33 species) together are sister to Facchinia. Whereas Facchinia is distributed in western Eurasia, Colobanthus is almost exclusively distributed in the Southern Hemisphere, and Sagina is distributed in both hemispheres with the highest species diversity in wes…

Xue, T., Gadagkar, S. R., Albright, T. P., Yang, X., Li, J., Xia, C., … Yu, S. (2021). Prioritizing conservation of biodiversity in an alpine region: Distribution pattern and conservation status of seed plants in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Ecology and Conservation, 32, e01885. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) harbors abundant and diverse plant life owing to its high habitat heterogeneity. However, the distribution pattern of biodiversity hotspots and their conservation status remain unclear. Based on 148,283 high-resolution occurrence coordinates of 13,450 seed plants, w…

TREVIÑO-ZEVALLOS, I., GARCÍA-CUNCHILLOS, I., & LADO, C. (2021). New records of Myxomycetes (Amoebozoa) from the tropical Andes. Phytotaxa, 522(3), 231–239. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.522.3.6 https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.522.3.6

The Myxomycetes comprise a remarkably diverse group of organisms within Amoebozoa, with over 1000 species currently recognized. These organisms, at the end of their life cycles produce fruiting bodies which are the basis for their systematics. Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, the tropical Andes…

Briscoe Runquist, R. D., Lake, T. A., & Moeller, D. A. (2021). Improving predictions of range expansion for invasive species using joint species distribution models and surrogate co‐occurring species. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14105 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14105

Aims: Species distribution models (SDMs) are often used to forecast potential distributions of important invasive or rare species. However, situations where models could be the most valuable ecologically or economically, such as for predicting invasion risk, often pose the greatest challenges to SDM…

Shaw, E. C., Fowler, R., Ohadi, S., Bayly, M. J., Barrett, R. A., Tibbits, J., … Cousens, R. D. (2020). Explaining the worldwide distributions of two highly mobile species: Cakile edentula and Cakile maritima. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14024 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14024

Aim: If we are able to determine the geographic origin of an invasion, as well as its known area of introduction, we can better appreciate the innate environmental tolerance of a species and the strength of selection for adaptation that colonizing populations have undergone. It also enables us to ma…

Cross, A. T., Krueger, T. A., Gonella, P. M., Robinson, A. S., & Fleischmann, A. S. (2020). Conservation of carnivorous plants in the age of extinction. Global Ecology and Conservation, e01272. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01272 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01272

Carnivorous plants (CPs)—those possessing specific strategies to attract, capture and kill animal prey and obtain nutrition through the absorption of their biomass—are harbingers of anthropogenic degradation and destruction of ecosystems. CPs exhibit highly specialised and often very sensitive ecolo…