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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353268

Research Project: Subtropical and Tropical Ornamental Genetic Resource Management, Characterization, and Genetic Improvement

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: The rediscovery of Griffinia alba (Amaryllidaceae), a unique and endangered species

Author
item Campos-rocha, Antonio - Universidade De Campinas (UNICAMP)
item Meerow, Alan
item Lima Viana, Danilio - Agripalm Environmental Services

Submitted to: Brittonia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Griffinia alba is an unusual species of this genus in the amaryllis family, previously known only from a single collection in 1930 and thought to be extinct. In 2014, the authors found a single clump of bulbs in a forest fragment in the Brazilian State of Pernambuco, which was determined to be this species. From herbarium visits in Brazil, two new records of the species were found. G. alba is known only from one of the most deforested regions of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. With these new discoveries, the authors were able to present a corrected and much more detailed description of the species. Moreover, two other species described from single dried specimens are now listed as synonyms of the re-discovered G. alba. The authors present a detailed line drawing, new photographs of the species and its habitat, and detailed notes concerning its distribution and conservation. The authors present DNA sequence data that show its evolutionary relationship to G. gardneriana, a species assigned to a different subcategory of the genus. The rediscovery of G. alba, a taxon with unique or unusual features, adds to ongoing research on the genus Griffinia, enabling a deeper understanding of its complex evolutionary history.

Technical Abstract: Griffinia alba was described from a 1930 collection, which remained the only known material since that time. In the year 2014, two new records of the species were discovered in one of the most deforested regions of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Its re-discovery revealed that its original description was partially incorrect, and had ignored certain main diagnostic features. In this article, we present a corrected and improved description of G. alba, plus a more detailed illustration and previously unreleased in vivo photos of the species. Additionally, comments are provided on its geographic distribution, conservation status, and putative phylogenetic position based on nrDNA ITS sequences. Two species known only from unicate types collected in the nineteenth century are considered synonyms of G. alba. The rediscovery of G. alba, a taxon with unique or unusual features, adds to ongoing research on the genus, enabling a deeper understanding of its evolutionary history.