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Rhinacanthus (Acanthaceae)

Rhinacanthus comprises about 30 species, distributed mostly in the Old World tropics and subtropics. 

Only two taxa in the  Rhinacanthus had previously been recorded in Sri Lanka, Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz and R. polonnaruwensis Cramer. Collections during my fieldwork in Sri Lanka have revealed the existence of a new species, R. flavovirens.

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 Plectranthus (Lamiaceae)

The medicinal plant Plectranthus hadiensis is reported for various biological properties. This plant is substituted in herbal industry by other plants of the same clade due to misidentification. Therefore, during my masters research was on development of DNA barcodes to identify Sri Lankan P. hadiensis from adulterant Plectranthus taxa. As DNA barcodes, matK, rbcL and trnH-psbA chloroplast DNA regions were amplified and sequenced. The barcode sequences resulted in this study were deposited in GenBank nucleotide database. To verify if these barcodes are competent for assignment of P. hadiensis, the rbcL sequence of P. hadiensis was compared with the rbcL sequences available in the GenBank nucleotide database of the other individuals of the larger clade Lamiales. Comparison of rbcL sequences identified single nucleotide polymorphism among Plectranthus taxa with a considerable interspecific divergence suggesting that rbcL could serve as a barcode for P. hadiensis.

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