September 19, 2019
Mega-tumbleweed takes root in Southern California
RIVERSIDE – (INT) - A new species of gigantic tumbleweed once predicted to go extinct is not only here to stay — it’s likely to expand its territory.

The species, Salsola ryanii, is significantly larger than either of its parent plants, which can grow up to 6 feet tall.

A new study from UC Riverside supports the theory that the new tumbleweed grows more vigorously because it is a hybrid with doubled pairs of its parents’ chromosomes.

“Salsola ryanii is a nasty species replacing other nasty species of tumbleweed in the U.S.,” said study co-author Norman Ellstrand, UCR Distinguished Professor of Genetics. “It’s healthier than earlier versions, and now we know why.”

Findings from the study are detailed in a new paper published in the Oxford University-produced journal AoB Plants.
Story Date: September 13, 2019
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