Solanaceae Source

A global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family

July 3rd , 2020 - Sandra Knapp & Tiina Särkinen​

The first SOL Seminar Online was presented by Sandra Knapp and Tiina Särkinen​ on Why monograph a monster like Solanum?

Abstract. Large plant genera like Solanum –with more than  1000 species – tend to be “where angels fear to tread”; their sheer size and difficulty of biting off doable chunks means that many have not been treated monographically in their entirety since the 19th century. A focus on projects with three- to five-year time spans can lead botanists to focus on smaller, more tractable groups – leaving the “monsters” to languish in confusion and without a globally unified view. Working in larger teams, using phylogenetic methods to define doable chunks for study, taking advantage of the burgeoning new digital resources available – all these have helped to overcome, at least in part, the challenges of working with Solanum. But no approach is the silver bullet! Even though they present challenges, large genera like Solanum also represent golden opportunities for investigating evolutionary and ecological questions, such as nature of species and speciation, genome evolution, evolution of rarity, niche axis and traits, host-pathogen and plant-insect co-evolution. Globally integrated views of plant diversity are an iterative enterprise, with small parts building a unified whole.

When? Friday 3rd July, 4 pm (GMT+1, see the table for different time zones here)

The zoom link to join the meeting is Meeting ID: 943 3314 6166, password: Solanaceae

Youtube link to watch the talk again:

Friday, July 3, 2020 - 16:00


Submitted by Mario Blanco (not verified) on

I am interested in seeing the seminar, but I already have another activity at the same time. Is the video going to be made available for later viewing? Thanks!

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith