Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Marino, Claire [1], Williams, Tanisha [1], Martine, Christopher [1].

Solanum acanthophisum: a New Dioecious Bush Tomato Species from the Australian Monsoon Tropics.

Estimates suggest that over 70% of the Australian flora and fauna has yet to be scientifically described. Numerous new plant species are still being described each year from across the continent. Here, we investigate a potential new species represented by just a few herbarium collections made in the remote Deaf Adder Gorge of Kakadu National Park, a biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The new taxon was previously suggested as a possible localized variant of the functionally dioecious Kakadu endemic Solanum asymmetriphyllum and close relative of its sister species Solanum sejunctum. Using seeds removed from a herbarium sheet, a single ex situ plant was grown and used to assess more than 30 morphological characters to document the differences among S. asymmetriphyllum, S. sejunctum, and the putative new species. Morphometric analyses provide evidence that the three taxa are distinct from one another and support the segregation of the Deaf Adder Gorge variant as Solanum acanthophisum sp. nov. The specific epithet, “acanthophisum” is derived from the generic name of the sympatric death/deaf adder snake, Acanthophis praelongus. Solanum acanthophisum is now one of three recognized Solanum species occurring in Kakadu that exhibit functional dioecy, a sexual system in which morphologically bisexual flowers produce non-functional inaperturate pollen.

1 - Bucknell University, Biology, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States

new species
Deaf Adder Gorge
Kakadu National Park

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PFT006
Abstract ID:421
Candidate for Awards:None

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