Orchid genome may save highly endangered species
The orchid’s genetic sequence is giving scientists clues to how an alternative form of photosynthesis, called crassulacean acid metabolism, evolved. Orchids are the first plants that use this form of photosynthesis to have their genome sequenced, researchers report November 24 in Nature Genetics. The full sequence of Phalaenopsis equestris also pinpoints specific genes that may have given orchid flowers their specialized shape. The results could play a role in conserving some of the orchid species considered to be highly endangered, the researchers suggest.