Submitted to: International Botanical Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2005
Publication Date: 8/25/2005
Citation: Bohs, L., Knapp, S., Nee, M., Spooner, D.M., Bennett, J., Walley, L., Clark, J. 2005. The Solanum PBI project: taxonomy in the electronic information age.. International Botanical Congress Abstracts: 210. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: We have begun a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary project to complete a species-level treatment of the genus Solanum (Solanaceae) by the year 2008. Solanum, with approximately 1500 species, is one of the largest and most economically important plant genera (it includes tomato, potato, and eggplant, among others). Our project, funded by the NSF PBI (Planetary Biodiversity Inventory) program, provides species descriptions, interactive keys, a nomenclature index, a photo and illustration archive with images of type specimens, an illustrated glossary, and a searchable database of herbarium specimens for all taxa in the genus. This information is disseminated electronically on our Solanaceae Source website. This project will create a globally accessible information source that will link libraries, collections, and electronic resources containing Solanum data. Such virtual resources are the way of the future in taxonomic research, in which far-flung and historical sources of information are synthesized. We expect this project to provide a model for other large scale taxonomic endeavors and for the electronic distribution of biodiversity data.