IPB University Professor Protects Our Biodiversity with Biosystematics

IPB University Professor Protects Our Biodiversity with Biosystematics


Plant biosystematics is a discipline which learns about variation and evolution of a plant population in its taxonomy classification. Biosystematics could predict a taxon’s unknown characteristics. Besides, biosystematics research with morphology approach can represent a plant variation in a certain location before its extinction, discover environment indicator species and endemic species of an ecosystem, and describe new species with certain advantages.

Such explanation was delivered by Prof Dr Ir Tatik Chikmawati during the Open Academic Meeting: Scientific Oration of Permanent Professor Inauguration, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA) in Dramaga Campus, Bogor (20/7). Biodiversity is very important to preserve the world’s ecosystem. Because of that, biodiversity has to be protected and erosion of biodiversity has to be stopped.

“There are so much of our biodiversity whose identity or benefits has not been known. Then, how are we supposed to decide which plant species that has to be conserved if we don’t know what is to conserve. Biosystematics is the answer,” she said.

Mangos, langsats, durians, rambutans, mangosteens, jackfruits, chempedaks, oranges, bananas, and beautiful flowers such as orchids, roses, jasmines, begonias, rafflesias, flytrappers, etc are Indonesia’s plant biodiversity. Indonesia has 47 natural ecosystems rich in plant and animal species and a vast number of endemic islands with a total of species amounting 1.46 millions species.

“According to him, biodiversity is very important to preserve the balance of the ecosystem and biosphere. With the increase of the country’s population, the plant biodiversity has to be managed wisely so that its benefits can be efficient and sustainable,” he said.

Some examples of research results with biosystematics is the finding of new species of durian fit for export commodity, which is Durio connatus Priyanti. This durian has a pleasant taste, but the aroma is not very strong, so it’s suitable for export.

Besides, with metabolomic approach, biosystematics managed to reveal the correlation between metabolic profile of red starfruits with their environment and their morphology which is beneficial for further development.

“Biosystematics study can reveal the plant biodiversity value of a certain area. Biosystematics of Selaginella spp revealed that all Selaginella species from Java contain flavonoid compounds ‘amentoflavon’ with varying concentrations between species. Selaginella extract can prevent free radicals, suppress mice C3H tumor and suppress mouse’s mammary gland tumor cell mitosis. That means Selaginella extract can prevent cancer,” she added. (Ard)