Indian Journal of Science and Technology
Year: 2009, Volume: 2, Issue: 5, Pages: 1-8
Steven G. Newmaster and Subramanyam Ragupathy
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario Herbarium, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G 2W1.
*Author for the correspondence:
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario Herbarium,
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G 2W1.
E-mail: [email protected]
The ethnobotany genomics concept is founded on the idea of ‘assemblage’ of biodiversity knowledge. This includes a coming together of different ways of knowing and valorizing species variation in a novel approach seeking to add value to both traditional knowledge (TK) and scientific knowledge (SK). Ethnobotany genomics is defined as exploring the variation in genomic sequences from many species, and here we present some of our recent work that demonstrates the potential benefits of this approach for ethnobotanical research with economic implications. DNA barcoding was used to identify Acacia and nutmeg taxa that are economically important to society-at-large. Furthermore we identified considerable variation that is recognized by several indigenous cultures. The impacts of ethnobotany genomics will extend well beyond biodiversity science. Explorations of the genomic properties across the expanse of life are now possible using DNA barcoding to assemble sequence information for a standard portion of the genome from large assemblages of species. Perhaps the most important contribution is major barcode projects will leave an important legacy; a comprehensive repository of highquality DNA extracts that will facilitate future genomic investigations.
Keywords: DNA barcoding, economic botany, biodiversity, plant diversity, ethnopharmacology, ethnomedicine, ethnobiology, biotechnology
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