The Museum’s vast collections of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microbes support our staff's unique expertise in evolutionary biology, biodiversity and systematics.

Recent Submissions

  • XIX International Botanical Congress, Shenzhen: report of the Nomenclature Section, 17th to 21st July 2017

    Lindon, HL; Hartley, H; Knapp, S; M. Monro, A; Turland, NJ (Pensoft Publishers, 2020-06-08)
  • The effect of polyploidy and hybridization on the evolution of floral colour inNicotiana(Solanaceae)

    McCarthy, EW; Arnold, SEJ; Chittka, L; Le Comber, SC; Verity, R; Dodsworth, S; Knapp, S; Kelly, LJ; Chase, MW; Baldwin, IT; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015-06-01)
    Background and Aims: Speciation in angiosperms can be accompanied by changes in floral colour that may influence pollinator preference and reproductive isolation. This study investigates whether changes in floral colour can accompany polyploid and homoploid hybridization, important processes in angiosperm evolution. Methods: Spectral reflectance of corolla tissue was examined for 60 Nicotiana (Solanaceae) accessions (41 taxa) based on spectral shape (corresponding to pigmentation) as well as bee and hummingbird colour perception in order to assess patterns of floral colour evolution. Polyploid and homoploid hybrid spectra were compared with those of their progenitors to evaluate whether hybridization has resulted in floral colour shifts. Key Results: Floral colour categories in Nicotiana seem to have arisen multiple times independently during the evolution of the genus. Most younger polyploids displayed an unexpected floral colour, considering those of their progenitors, in the colour perception of at least one pollinator type, whereas older polyploids tended to resemble one or both of their progenitors. Conclusions: Floral colour evolution in Nicotiana is weakly constrained by phylogeny, and colour shifts do occur in association with both polyploid and homoploid hybrid divergence. Transgressive floral colour in N. tabacum has arisen by inheritance of anthocyanin pigmentation from its paternal progenitor while having a plastid phenotype like its maternal progenitor. Potentially, floral colour evolution has been driven by, or resulted in, pollinator shifts. However, those polyploids that are not sympatric (on a regional scale) with their progenitor lineages are typically not divergent in floral colour from them, perhaps because of a lack of competition for pollinators.
  • New names and status for Pacific spiny species of Solanum (Solanaceae, subgenus Leptostemonum Bitter; the Leptostemonum Clade)

    McClelland, DHR; Nee, M; Knapp, S (Pensoft Publishers, 2020-04-10)
    Five new species of spiny solanums (Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum Bitter; the Leptostemonum Clade) are described from the islands of the Pacific. Two of the new species are from Fiji (S. pseudopedunculatum D.McClelland, sp. nov. and S. ratale D.McClelland, sp. nov.), two from New Caledonia (S. memoayanum D.McClelland, sp. nov. and S. semisucculentum D.McClelland, sp. nov.), one from Papua New Guinea (S. labyrinthinum D.McClelland, sp. nov.) and another from Vanuatu (S. vanuatuense D.McClelland, sp. nov.). A new status and combination is provided for the rare Hawaiian endemic S. caumii (F.Br.) D.McClelland, comb. et stat. nov. and a new type designated for S. peekelii Bitter of Papua New Guinea, for which a description is also provided. All species are illustrated with digitized herbarium specimens, mapped and have been assigned a preliminary conservation status using current IUCN guidelines. Details of all specimens examined are provided in a Suppl. materials 1: file SM1.
  • From text to structured data: Converting a word-processed floristic checklist into Darwin Core Archive format

    Remsen, D; Knapp, S; Georgiev, Teodor; Stoev, Pavel; Penev, Lyubomir (Pensoft Publishers, 2012-01-30)
    The paper describes a pilot project to convert a conventional floristic checklist, written in a standard word processing program, into structured data in the Darwin Core Archive format. After peer-review and editorial acceptance, the final revised version of the checklist was converted into Darwin Core Archive by means of regular expressions and published thereafter in both human-readable form as traditional botanical publication and Darwin Core Archive data files. The data were published and indexed through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT) and significant portions of the text of the paper were used to describe the metadata on IPT. After publication, the data will become available through the GBIF infrastructure and can be re-used on their own or collated with other data.
  • The mitogenome of a Malagasy butterfly Malaza fastuosus (Mabille, 1884) recovered from the holotype collected over 140 years ago adds support for a new subfamily of Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera)

    Zhang, J; Lees, David; Shen, J; Cong, Q; Huertas, B; Martin, G; Grishin, NV (Canadian Science Publishing, 2020-04)
    Malaza fastuosus is a lavishly patterned skipper butterfly from a genus that has three described species, all endemic to the mainland of Madagascar. To our knowledge, M. fastuosus has not been collected for nearly 50 years. To evaluate the power of our techniques to recover DNA, we used a single foreleg of an at least 140-year-old holotype specimen from the collection of the Natural History Museum London with no destruction of external morphology to extract DNA and assemble a complete mitogenome from next generation sequencing reads. The resulting 15 540 bp mitogenome contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and an A+T rich region, similarly to other Lepidoptera mitogenomes. Here we provide the first mitogenome also for Trapezitinae (Rachelia extrusus). Phylogenetic analysis of available skipper mitogenomes places Malaza outside of Trapezitinae and Barcinae + Hesperiinae, with a possible sister relationship to Heteropterinae. Of these, at least Heteropterinae, Trapezitinae, and almost all Hesperiinae have monocot-feeding caterpillars. Malaza appears to be an evolutionarily highly distinct ancient lineage, morphologically with several unusual hesperiid features. The monotypic subfamily Malazinae Lees & Grishin subfam. nov. (type genus Malaza) is proposed to reflect this morphological and molecular evidence.
  • The increased sensitivity of qPCR in comparison to Kato-Katz is required for the accurate assessment of the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infection in settings that have received multiple rounds of mass drug administration

    Dunn, JC; PAPAIAKOVOU, MARINA; Han, KT; Chooneea, D; Bettis, AA; Wyine, NY; Lwin, AMM; Maung, NS; Misra, Raju; Littlewood, T; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-06-24)
    Background The most commonly used diagnostic tool for soil-transmitted helminths (STH) is the Kato-Katz (KK) thick smear technique. However, numerous studies have suggested that the sensitivity of KK can be problematic, especially in low prevalence and low intensity settings. An emerging alternative is quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Methods In this study, both KK and qPCR were conducted on stool samples from 648 participants in an STH epidemiology study conducted in the delta region of Myanmar in June 2016. Results Prevalence of any STH was 20.68% by KK and 45.06% by qPCR. Prevalence of each individual STH was also higher by qPCR than KK, the biggest difference was for hookworm with an approximately 4-fold increase between the two diagnostic techniques. Prevalence of Ancylostoma ceylanicum, a parasite predominately found in dogs, was 4.63%, indicating that there is the possibility of zoonotic transmission in the study setting. In individuals with moderate to high intensity infections there is evidence for a linear relationship between eggs per gram (EPG) of faeces, derived from KK, and DNA copy number, derived from qPCR which is particularly strong for Ascaris lumbricoides. Conclusions The use of qPCR in low prevalence settings is important to accurately assess the epidemiological situation and plan control strategies for the ‘end game’. However, more work is required to accurately assess STH intensity from qPCR results and to reduce the cost of qPCR so that is widely accessible in STH endemic countries.
  • Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny of a New Hypotrich Ciliate,Pseudourostyla guizhouensissp. nov. from Southern China, with Notes on a Chinese Population ofHemicycliostyla franzi(Foissner, 1987) Paiva et al., 2012 (Ciliophora, Hypotricha)

    Li, Y; Lyu, Z; Warren, A; Zhou, K; Li, F; Chen, X (Wiley, 2017-05-22)
    The morphology and molecular phylogeny of a soil hypotrich ciliate, Pseudourostyla guizhouensis sp. nov., collected from southern China, were investigated. Pseudourostyla guizhouensis sp. nov. has an elongate elliptical body measuring 180–310 × 65–85 μm in vivo; invariably two right and three or four left marginal rows; six or seven dorsal kineties; adoral zone consisting of 57–70 membranelles; 12–16 frontal cirri, one buccal cirrus, 13–20 midventral pairs, two frontoterminal cirri, two pretransverse cirri, and five to seven transverse cirri. Morphogenesis during physiological regeneration indicates that the marginal rows of each side originate from a common anlage that differentiates into several rows. Molecular phylogenetic analysis based on SSU rDNA sequence data reveals that P . guizhouensis sp. nov. clusters with the type species P. cristata (Jerka‐Dziadosz, 1964) Borror, 1972 and that the genus Pseudourostyla is monophyletic. The morphological characters of another soil hypotrich ciliate, Hemicycliostyla franzi (Foissner, 1987) Paiva et al., 2012, are also described based on a Chinese (Guizhou) population.
  • Annotated type catalogue of the Bothriembryontidae and Odontostomidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London

    Breure, A; Ablett, J (Pensoft Publishers, 2012-04-10)
    The type status is described for specimens of 84 taxa classified within the families Bothriembryontidae and Odontostomidae (superfamily Orthalicoidea) and kept in the Natural History Museum, London. Lectotypes are designated for Bulimus (Liparus) brazieri Angas, 1871; Bulimus broderipii Sowerby I, 1832; Bulimus fuligineus Pfeiffer, 1853; Helix guarani d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus (Tomigerus) ramagei E.A. Smith, 1890; Helix rhodinostoma d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus (Bulimulus) ridleyi E.A. Smith, 1890. The type status of the following taxa is changed to lectotype in accordance with Art. 74.6 ICZN: Placostylus (Euplacostylus) cylindricus Fulton, 1907; Bulimus pyrostomus Pfeiffer, 1860; Bulimus turneri Pfeiffer, 1860. The following taxon is synonymised: Bulimus oblitus Reeve, 1848 = Bahiensis neglectus (Pfeiffer, 1847).
  • Annotated type catalogue of the Bulimulidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London

    Breure, A; Ablett, J (Pensoft Publishers, 2014-03-21)
    The type status is described of 404 taxa classified within the family Bulimulidae (superfamily Orthalicoidea) and kept in the London museum. Lectotypes are designated for Bulimus aurifluus Pfeiffer, 1857; Otostomus bartletti H. Adams, 1867; Helix cactorum d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus caliginosus Reeve, 1849; Bulimus chemnitzioides Forbes, 1850; Bulimus cinereus Reeve, 1849; Helix cora d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus fallax Pfeiffer, 1853; Bulimus felix Pfeiffer, 1862; Bulimus fontainii d’Orbigny, 1838; Bulimus fourmiersi d’Orbigny, 1837; Bulimus (Mesembrinus) gealei H. Adams, 1867; Bulimus gruneri Pfeiffer, 1846; Bulimus humboldtii Reeve, 1849; Helix hygrohylaea d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus jussieui Pfeiffer, 1846; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) binominis lascellianus E.A. Smith, 1895; Helix lichnorum d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) lucidus da Costa, 1898; Bulimus luridus Pfeiffer, 1863; Bulimus meleagris Pfeiffer, 1853; Bulimus monachus Pfeiffer, 1857; Bulimus montagnei d’Orbigny, 1837; Helix montivaga d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus muliebris Reeve, 1849; Bulimus nigrofasciatus Pfeiffer in Philippi 1846; Bulimus nitelinus Reeve, 1849; Helix oreades d’Orbigny, 1835; Helix polymorpha d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus praetextus Reeve, 1849; Bulinus proteus Broderip, 1832; Bulimus rusticellus Morelet, 1860; Helix sporadica d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimus sulphureus Pfeiffer, 1857; Helix thamnoica var. marmorata d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulinus translucens Broderip in Broderip and Sowerby I 1832; Helix trichoda d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulinus ustulatus Sowerby I, 1833; Bulimus voithianus Pfeiffer, 1847; Bulimus yungasensis d’Orbigny, 1837. The type status of the following taxa is changed to lectotype in accordance with Art. 74.6 ICZN: Bulimulus (Drymaeus) caucaensis da Costa, 1898; Drymaeus exoticus da Costa, 1901; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) hidalgoi da Costa, 1898; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) interruptus Preston, 1909; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) inusitatus Fulton, 1900; Bulimulus latecolumellaris Preston, 1909; Bulimus (Otostomus) napo Angas, 1878; Drymaeus notabilis da Costa, 1906; Drymaeus notatus da Costa, 1906; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) nubilus Preston, 1903; Drymaeus obliquistriatus da Costa, 1901; Bulimus (Drymaeus) ochrocheilus E.A. Smith, 1877; Bulimus (Drymaeus) orthostoma E.A. Smith, 1877; Drymaeus expansus perenensis da Costa, 1901; Bulimulus pergracilis Rolle, 1904; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) plicatoliratus da Costa, 1898; Drymaeus prestoni da Costa, 1906; Drymaeus punctatus da Costa, 1907; Bulimus (Leptomerus) sanctaeluciae E.A. Smith, 1889; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) selli Preston, 1909; Drymaeus subventricosus da Costa, 1901; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) tigrinus da Costa, 1898; Drymaeus volsus Fulton, 1907; Drymaeus wintlei Finch, 1929; Bulimus zhorquinensis Angas, 1879; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) ziczac da Costa, 1898. The following junior subjective synonyms are established: Bulimus antioquensis Pfeiffer, 1855 = Bulimus baranguillanus Pfeiffer, 1853; Drymaeus bellus da Costa, 1906 = Drymaeus blandi Pilsbry, 1897; Bulimus hachensis Reeve 1850 = Bulimus gruneri Pfeiffer, 1846 = Bulimus columbianus Lea, 1838; Bulimus (Otostomus) lamas Higgins 1868 = Bulimus trujillensis Philippi, 1867; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) binominis lascellianus E.A. Smith, 1895 = Bulimulus (Drymaeus) binominis E.A. Smith, 1895; Drymaeus multispira da Costa, 1904 = Helix torallyi d’Orbigny, 1835; Bulimulus (Drymaeus) plicatoliratus Da Costa, 1898 = Bulimus convexus Pfeiffer, 1855; Bulimus sugillatus Pfeiffer, 1857 = Bulimus rivasii d’Orbigny, 1837; Bulimus meridionalis Reeve 1848 [June] = Bulimus voithianus Pfeiffer, 1847. New combinations are: Bostryx montagnei (d’Orbigny, 1837); Bostryx obliquiportus (da Costa, 1901); Bulimulus heloicus (d’Orbigny, 1835); Drymaeus (Drymaeus) lusorius (Pfeiffer, 1855); Drymaeus (Drymaeus) trigonostomus (Jonas, 1844); Drymaeus (Drymaeus) wintlei Finch, 1929; Drymaeus (Mesembrinus) conicus da Costa, 1907; Kuschelenia (Kuschelenia) culminea culminea (d’Orbigny, 1835); Kuschelenia (Kuschelenia) culmineus edwardsi (Morelet, 1863); Kuschelenia (K.) gayi (Pfeiffer, 1857); Kuschelenia (Kuschelenia) tupacii (d’Orbigny, 1835); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) anthisanensis (Pfeiffer, 1853); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) aquilus (Reeve, 1848); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) bicolor (Sowerby I, 1835); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) caliginosus (Reeve, 1849); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) cotopaxiensis (Pfeiffer, 1853); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) filaris (Pfeiffer, 1853); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) ochracea (Morelet, 1863); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) petiti (Pfeiffer, 1846); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) purpuratus (Reeve, 1849); Kuschelenia (Vermiculatus) quechuarum (Crawford, 1939); Naesiotus cinereus (Reeve, 1849); Naesiotus dentritis (Morelet, 1863); Naesiotus fontainii (d’Orbigny, 1838); Naesiotus orbignyi (Pfeiffer, 1846); Protoglyptus pilosus (Guppy, 1871); Protoglyptus sanctaeluciae (E.A. Smith, 1889). Type material of the following taxa is figured herein for the first time: Bulimus cinereus Reeve, 1849; Bulimus coriaceus Pfeiffer, 1857; Bulimulus laxostylus Rolle, 1904; Bulimus pliculatus Pfeiffer, 1857; Bulimus simpliculus Pfeiffer, 1855.
  • An annotated catalogue of type specimens of the land snail genus Cyclophorus Monfort, 1810 (Caenogastropoda, Cyclophoridae) in the Natural History Museum, London

    Panha, S; Nantarat, N; Sutcharit, C; Tongkerd, P; Ablett, J; Naggs, F (Pensoft Publishers, 2014-05-23)
    The collection of land caenogastropod snails in the genus Cyclophorus Monfort, 1810 housed in the Natural History Museum, London (NHM), includes 52 type lots. Lectotypes have been designated for 43 available species-level names to stabilize existing nomenclature, two previously designated lectotype, two holotypes, one paratype, one syntype, one possible syntype and two paralectotypes are also listed. A complete catalogue of the Cyclophorus types in NHM, London is provided for the first time.
  • Annotated type catalogue of the Amphibulimidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London

    Breure, A; Ablett, J (Pensoft Publishers, 2011-10-19)
    The type status is described of 39 taxa classified within the family Amphibulimidae (superfamily Orthalicoidea) and kept in the London museum. One taxon, Bulimus elaeodes Pfeiffer, 1853, is removed to the Strophocheilidae. Lectotypes are designated for Bulimus adoptus Reeve, 1849; Bulimus (Eurytus) eros Angas, 1878; Helix onca d’Orbigny, 1835; Amphibulima pardalina Guppy, 1868. The type status of the following taxon is changed to lectotype in accordance with Art. 74.6 ICZN: Strophocheilus (Dryptus) jubeus Fulton, 1908. As general introduction to this and following papers on Orthalicoid types in the Natural History Museum, a brief history of the London collection is given and several examples of handwriting from different authors are presented.
  • Molecular circumscription of new species of Gyrocotyle Diesing, 1850 (Cestoda) from deep-sea chimaeriform holocephalans in the North Atlantic

    Bray, RA; Waeschenbach, A; Littlewood, T; Halvorsen, O; Olson, PD (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-04-23)
    Chimaeras, or ratfishes, are the only extant group of holocephalan fishes and are the sole host group of gyrocotylidean cestodes, which represent a sister group of the true tapeworms (Eucestoda). These unique, non-segmented cestodes have been known since the 1850s and multiple species and genera have been erected despite a general agreement that the delineation of species on the basis of morphology is effectively impossible. Thus, in the absence of molecular studies, the validity of gyrocotylid taxa and their specific host associations has remained highly speculative. Here we report the presence of Gyrocotyle spp. from rarely-caught deep-sea chimaeras collected in the North-East Atlantic, and describe two new species: G. haffii n. sp. from the bent-nose chimaera, Harriota raleighana Goode & Bean, and G. discoveryi n. sp. from the large-eyed rabbit fish, Hydrolagus mirabilis (Collett). Nuclear ribosomal sequence data were generated for individual parasites taken from different host species collected on different dates and from different localities and were combined with previously published sequences. Phylogenetic analyses supported the recognition of independent lineages and clusters, indicative of species, but were indecisive in recovering the root of the tree in analyses that included non-gyrocotylid outgroup taxa. The molecular data reveal variation not reflected in morphology and point to a complex picture of genetic divergence shaped by both isolation and migration in the deep-sea environment.
  • A replacement name for Philonthus colius Hromádka, 2016 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

    Barclay, Maxwell; Geiser, Michael (Nakladatelství Jan Farkač, Czech Republic & Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic, http://www.fld.czu.cz/studiesandreports, 2017-03-31)
    Philonthus colius Hromádka 2016, a primary junior homonym of Philonthus colius Hromádka 2008, is replaced with Philonthus lubomirhromadkai nom. nov.
  • Report on the 2015 workshop of the International Research Coordination Network for Biodiversity of Ciliates (IRCN-BC) held at Ocean University of China (OUC), Qingdao, China, 19-21 October 2015

    Warren, A; McMiller, N; Safi, L; Hu, X; Tarkington, J (Jagiellonian University Press, 2016-08-25)
    The 4th workshop of the IRCN-BC, entitled ‘Current Trends, Collaborations and Future Directions in Biodiversity Studies of Ciliates’ and convened by Weibo Song and colleagues at OUC, was attended by 53 participants from 12 countries. The workshop comprised oral presentations and posters grouped into three themes reflecting the three dimensions of biodiversity, namely: taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and genetic diversity. The main aims of the workshop were to provide a platform for the presentation of recent findings and to facilitate future collaborations for enhancing research and training.
  • Examination of types in the Fragilaria vaucheriae–intermedia species complex

    Tuji, A; Williams, DM (National Museum of Science and Nature, 2013-02-22)
    In a previous paper, we presented the results of type examination of the Fragilaria pectinalis–capitellata species complex, species which have a unilateral central area and fine striae. Here, we present the results of type examination of the Fragilaria vaucheriae–intermedia species complex, species which have a unilateral central area and coarse striae (<13 striae per 10 µm). Synedra vaucheriae var. doformis Grunow and S. vaucheriae var. distans Grunow are synonyms of F. vauchriae (Kütz.) J.B.Petersen. F. intermedia Grunow is also a synonym of F. vauchriae. However, some of the figures for F. intermedia that were published by Van Heurck are a new taxon sometimes identified as F. intermedia. This new taxon is described here as Fragilaria neointermedia.
  • Insights into the red algae and eukaryotic evolution from the genome of Porphyra umbilicalis (Bangiophyceae, Rhodophyta)

    Brawley, SH; Blouin, NA; Ficko-Blean, E; Wheeler, GL; Lohr, M; Goodson, HV; Jenkins, JW; Blaby-Haas, CE; Helliwell, KE; Chan, CX; et al. (National Academy of Sciences, 2017-08-01)
    Porphyra umbilicalis (laver) belongs to an ancient group of red algae (Bangiophyceae), is harvested for human food, and thrives in the harsh conditions of the upper intertidal zone. Here we present the 87.7-Mbp haploid Porphyra genome (65.8% G + C content, 13,125 gene loci) and elucidate traits that inform our understanding of the biology of red algae as one of the few multicellular eukaryotic lineages. Novel features of the Porphyra genome shared by other red algae relate to the cytoskeleton, calcium signaling, the cell cycle, and stress-tolerance mechanisms including photoprotection. Cytoskeletal motor proteins in Porphyra are restricted to a small set of kinesins that appear to be the only universal cytoskeletal motors within the red algae. Dynein motors are absent, and most red algae, including Porphyra, lack myosin. This surprisingly minimal cytoskeleton offers a potential explanation for why red algal cells and multicellular structures are more limited in size than in most multicellular lineages. Additional discoveries further relating to the stress tolerance of bangiophytes include ancestral enzymes for sulfation of the hydrophilic galactan-rich cell wall, evidence for mannan synthesis that originated before the divergence of green and red algae, and a high capacity for nutrient uptake. Our analyses provide a comprehensive understanding of the red algae, which are both commercially important and have played a major role in the evolution of other algal groups through secondary endosymbioses.
  • Conservation in a Barcode Age: A cross-discipline re-storage project for pyritic specimens

    Allington-Jones, L; Trafford, A (International Council of Museums, 2017-01-01)
    The dichotomy of conservation and access has long been recognised within the museum profession. The recent push for digitisation has added a new dimension to this argument: digital records can both increase potential access, due to increased awareness of the existence of objects, and decrease potential handling, since a more thorough awareness of an object creates a more informed decision regarding whether access is actually necessary. The use of barcodes and the creation of digital resources have therefore been incorporated into a re-storage project at the Natural History Museum, London to reduce duplication of work (and handling) by staff and to combat the reduction in access caused by the enclosure of objects within microenvironments, which in turn helps preserve specimens for future access. This project demonstrates how conservation and digitisation can successfully synthesise through the use of barcodes, when working with a cross-discipline team.
  • The Airless Project

    Allington-Jones, L; Trafford, A (Natural Sciences Collections Association, 2017-04-20)
    A project to combat pyrite oxidation at the NHM (London, UK) is currently in its second year. The project aims to undertake conservation treatments and store highest risk specimens in low oxygen microenvironments. An emergent benefit of the conservation-driven project has been the digitisation of specimens on the collection management system KE Emu, through the use of barcodes and web-based applications.
  • Lycopodiella inundata: insights into plant-fungal associations in early vascular plants

    Kowal, J; Duckett, J; Jacob, A; Rimington, W; Bidartondo, M; Field, K; Schornack, S; Pressel, S (2017-03-07)
    Recent studies have revealed that extant basal vascular plants associate with a wide range of Mucoromycotina and/or Glomeromycota fungi, paralleling the same in non-vascular liverworts and hornworts. This dispels the long-held paradigm that these early diverging lineages harbour Glomeromycota exclusively. Endophytes belonging to both fungal lineages have also been reported, for the first time, in a Devonian plant (Horneophyton ligneri). Together these discoveries point to much more diverse plant-fungus interactions in early vascular plants than previously assumed, however our understanding of these remains limited. In order to gain further insights into these key partnerships, especially those involving the early diverging Mucoromycotina, we are developing the lycophyte Lycopodiella inundata as an experimental system. L. inundata sporophytes have been shown to harbour solely Mucoromycotina fungi but equally fundamental, the identity of its gametophyte endophyte remains unknown. Using molecular and cytological approaches, we confirm that young L. inundata sporophytes are colonized exclusively by Mucoromycotina and show that the cytology of colonisation - consisting of both inter- and intracellular phases - closely resembles that in Haplomitriopsida liverwort-Mucoromycotina partnerships and the corm of H. ligneri. Our current isolation, resynthesis and molecular studies will provide further insights into both host and fungi specificity.
  • Cladistics

    Kitching, I; Forey, PL; Williams, DM (Elsevier, 2017-01-01)
    Cladistics is a class of methods of biological classification that groups taxa hierarchically into discrete sets and subsets. This article presents the principles and concepts of cladistics and describes the principal analytical methods. The operations by which observations of organisms are coded for analysis are explained, followed by the methods for reconstructing the hierarchical relationships among taxa (usually expressed as branching diagrams termed cladograms). Statistics and principles for determining the degree of fit between data and cladograms are discussed, which permit choices to be made among competing cladograms.

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