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Stellaria mcclintockiae

  • Context (TH): Researchers have discovered a new species of plant, Stellaria mcclintockiae, from the Nelliyampathy hills, Kerala.
  • It has been named after Barbara McClintock, an American scientist who won the 1983 Nobel Prize for discovering ‘jumping genes.
  • This is the first species of the genus Stellaria reported from south India.
  • Stellaria species are relatively small herbs with simple opposite leaves. It produces small flowers with 5 sepals and 5 white petals each usually deeply cleft, or none at all, all free.

Stellaria mcclintockiae - PMF IAS

Credit: Onmanorama

  • Stellaria mcclintockiae is an annual herb growing up to 15 cm in height.
  • It is known to be found only in the Nelliyampathy hills at an elevation of 1,250-1,400 metres.
  • It differs from the various species of the genus with respect to bracts, sepals, petals, pollen morphology and seed surface architecture.

Jumping Genes

  • Transposable elements (TEs), also known as “jumping genes,” are DNA sequences that move from one location on the genome to another.
  • They are found in almost all organisms (both prokaryotes and eukaryotes).
  • TEs make up approximately 50% of the human genome.

Jumping genes - PMF IAS

Credit: UCSF

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