Flowers in Wales have been logged with a DNA barcode

All the native flowering plants in Wales have been recorded in a DNA logbook. Each flower which has been logged can help develop new drugs to battle all types of illnesses.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales comments that it has become the first country in the world to log flowers DNA. Approximately 75% of all flowering plants in the UK grow in Wales and the database currently includes 1,143 flowers and conifers.

Barcodes are the short DNA codes and the flowers can be recognised through their pollen grains, roots or seed pieces.

Scientists in Wales will begin introducing new flowers to the country and this will form the next phase of the project. The project overall should last three years.

The project was headed by Doctor Natasha de Vere who is head of the conservation and research from the National Botanic Garden in Carmarthenshire.

She said of the project, “Wales is now in the unique position of being able to identify plant species from materials which in the past would have been incredibly difficult or impossible. Through the Barcode Wales project, we have created a powerful platform for a broad range of research from biodiversity conservation to human health”.

Researchers all over the world can view the DNA barcodes on the Barcode of Life Database. Dr de Vere also thinks the barcoding of the DNA may help the crisis facing pollinating insects such as bees.