Biotech Updates

Botanists Use DNA and English in Describing New Plants Species

March 23, 2012

Starting January 1, 2012, important changes in naming new plants have been used by scientists, leading to the descend of Latin language usage for descriptions and diagnoses of new species. With the new rules, botanists and mycologists can now use sequences of short DNA regions that will amplify easily, even if the DNA comes from old specimens. Such sequences can serve as "barcodes" that can be used to confirm a suspected new species given that the related species with a given scientific name would also be sequenced for the same DNA region. Since there is no Latin vocabulary for describing DNA barcoding, English is now freely used to describe the new species.

Botanist Natalia Filipowicz from the Medical University of Gdańsk in Poland and co-authors published the first English-language diagnosis of a new species Brunfelsia plowmaniana that relies exclusively on DNA information.

Get more information about B. plowmaniana at