Overview: Botany Department
The Botany Department consists of two divisions: Vascular Plant Division and Nonvascular Plant Division. These two branches are responsible for collection and research, to provide support to exhibitions at the Museum and to promote science education. The Department is also in charge of the operation of the Botanical Garden of NMNS. Over the past two years, we have actively contacted other academics in the same field and have exchanged ideas with specialists not affiliated with the Museum. In this way, knowledge about NMNS is extended to the people of Taiwan and beyond.
Tropical species have always been the focus of the Botanical Garden; hence, the Garden has paid attention to the conservation of genetic resources of native and rare tropical species for its research and work. In 2006, the Department published a paper about tissue culture of a rare plant in Lanyu, Taiwan—Dehaasia triandra Merr. The paper offered another alternative for ex-situ conservation of the rare plant.
After spending over ten years on field survey, the Department discovered a new species of corticoid fungus named Brunneocorticium pyriforme and placed it in a new genus. The new fungus was collected on the stem or branch of living Murraya spp. (Rutaceae) in low altitude subtropical-tropical Taiwan and Xishuangbanna, in Yunnan, China. Phylogenetic analysis based on sequence data derived from LSU rDNA included Brunneocorticuium in the euagarics clade of Homobasidiomycetes, allied to the agaricoid genera Marasmiellus, Campanella, etc. The molecular analysis indicated that the Brunneocorticium was independent from other corticoid genera with similar morphological features. Basidiocarps of B. pyriforme are resupinate with a smooth hymeneal surface, a dimitic hyphal system, with nodose-septate generative hyphae and abundant yellowish brown skeletal hyphae, and leptocystidia. It has two segregated basidia and pear-shaped basidiospores. The paper, submitted by the Department about this finding of the new species and genus contributed to “Mycologia”, has been accepted.
Left: The beautiful flowers took from Paphiopedilum exhibition
Right: Tagetes minuta L. a new naturalized plant in Taiwan published by Dr. C. M. Wang
Source: Biennial Report of the National Museum of Natural Science (2005-2006)