Scientists of Altai State University and Chinese Institute of Botany implement a joint project on the study of relict plants

16 January 2018 Department of Information and Media Communications
Scientists of the Faculty of Biology of Altai State University together with the colleagues from the Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences are working on the study of relict fungus-like plants, which are called the contemporaries of dinosaurs.

The project of Altai State University on taxonomy of the Selaginella sanguinolenta and S. Helvetica complex headed by Director of the South Siberian Botanical Garden at Altai State University, Doctor of Biology, Professor Alexander I. Shmakov is aimed at a detailed study of two rare plant species Selaginella sanguinolenta and S. Helvetica found only in Russia, China and Mongolia.

The scientists intend to study taxonomy of the plants and distinguish closely related species in Selaginella complex. When implementing the project, it is planned to use modern scanning electron microscopy techniques, NGS-sequencing and flow cytometry. All this will allow not only to obtain data on the delineation of closely related taxa in these complexes, but also to reveal genetic diversity at the intraspecific level, and also to determine the areas of their distribution.

"The Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is our long-standing partner, with whom we have been cooperating for more than 25 years. It is the leading institution in China in the field of molecular genetic studies of plants, as well as the largest plant storage, herbarium, in China. We have developed good partnerships with the institute and its researchers in studying the taxonomy and phylogeny of some groups of higher plants. A large number of joint publications have already come out, and besides that, we took an active part in the preparation of the English version of the Flora of China edition. We conducted more than 15 joint expeditions through the territory of China and Russia and implemented several projects together with our Chinese colleagues," Alexander Shmakov said.

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