Plant Described by Bucknell Professor Makes Top 10 New Species List

The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Bush Tomato, a plant species first described by Bucknell Professor Chris Martine, biology, was one of only two plants named to the Top Ten New Species of 2017 list published by the International Institute for Species Exploration at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The discovery and Martine’s inclusion on the list was covered by The Philadelphia Inquirer as well as The Daily Item

Martine collected the species during a field expedition to Mirima National Park in western Australia. Bucknell students Emma Frawley and Alice Butler and former postdoctoral fellows Jason Cantley and Ingrid Jordon-Thaden shared in the discovery and were co-authors on the new species description.

The species was selected by an international panel of biologists from universities, museums, government centers and botanical gardens as far afield as Spain, Israel and New Zealand. In commenting on the selection, the committee noted Martine’s educational outreach efforts. Martine invited a class of 150 seventh-grade life science students from the Lewisburg School District to help name the species. They selected the name Solanum ossicruentum, which combines the Latin “ossi” for bony and “cruentum” for bloody, because the plant’s young fruits stain blood red when cut before maturing into a dry, bony state.

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