Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wipe Out!

The University of California Riverside has put out a press release about some very interesting research from its Botany department. A recent paper by Hegde et al. in the journal Evolution provides molecular evidence that the plant known as "Wild Radish" in California (Raphanus sativus) is actually a hybrid between cultivated radish (same scientific name) and jointed charlock (R. raphanistrum, also frequently known as "wild radish"). What makes this research so intriguing is that neither of the parent species exist in the wild in California any longer - the hybrid has completely taken over and expanded its range to the point where it is considered an invasive species.

The research raises some interesting questions, such as what the hybrid status is in other parts of the U.S. (and the world) where both parents coexisted. Also, will the hybrid be given a different taxonomic status? Seems like a name change is in order.

Interested readers will want to check out the abstract.


Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff guys, I'll definitely add u to my favourites and spread the word

bcgood said...

This kind of reminded me of the eucalyptus trees here in Northern California, I love them even if they are not a native. Heck, I was born in Phoenix so I'm not a native either, invasive, well that's depends on your point of view...