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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Mihai Costea

Digital Atlas of Cuscuta (Convolvulaceae) launched

Sep 13/07

After 2 years of work, the Digital Atlas of Cuscuta has finally been launched online by Dr. Mihai Costea as a next step toward a monograph of the genus. The only comprehensive source of iconography available for Cuscuta was provided by Yuncker in 1932. His illustrations consisted of line drawings of flowers, floral parts, capsules, and dissected corollas (Yuncker 1932). Although line drawings can be quite useful to indicate shapes and ratios between various floral parts, in the case of this genus, they are less informative for tridimensional parts, textures, color, fleshiness and thickness, cell-patterns on various surfaces. These latter characters can be very important for the delimitation/identification of Cuscuta species, and they are visible only in photographs. Such elements of floral morphology have been made available for the first time in the Digital Atlas of Cuscuta. The site is intended to serve as a comprehensive repository of taxonomic information for Cuscuta (dodders, Convolvulaceae), as well as an aid for the identification of its taxa. Type specimens from various herbaria world-wide have been used to illustrate the taxa. Finally but not last, this is the next generation in the study of morphology in dodders. All the images in these galleries were obtained through the fusion of multiple snapshots taken at successive depths of field, therefore, maximizing the amount of information contained by the final photographs by coming as close as possible to 3D images.

Digital Atlas of Cuscuta (Convolvulaceae)

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