The ultimate outcome of the project is to provide a species-level treatment for Solanum, relying on existing modern monographs and revisions and coordinating work on the remaining groups using existing international taxonomic expertise.
The project aims to ensure that this synthetic taxonomic treatment is widely available, both in print and electronically via the World Wide Web (WWW) site: Solanaceae Source.
The Solanaceae Source web site will provide the central repository for:
- nomenclature (including types, people and publications);
- species descriptions and identification keys (converting and incorporating existing monographs and floras and generating new treatments);
- photographs of species, habitats and associated species such as pollinators and herbivores;
- specimen collections;
- links to related external online resources.
The intention is that Solanaceae Source will not only help with accessibility to existing information, but will stimulate new studies based upon this knowledge.
The project will call upon the expertise of specialists worldwide to examine Solanum taxonomy, nomenclature and phylogeny, visit herbaria and carry out fieldwork to remedy gaps in collection coverage on a global basis.
From the outset the aim is to include substantial scientific exchange components among Solanum specialists. Collaborators will interact during the course of field and herbarium work and will present results from this project in venues such as the Sixth International Solanaceae Conference in Madison, Wisconsin in 2006. Post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates will be trained in all aspects of Solanum systematics, from field and herbarium work to molecular phylogenies. Outreach to the public will be achieved through research and popular presentations by the principal investigators and associated project personnel and through interaction with the Darwin Centre Live programme, in which scientific presentations are live-streamed to the Internet and archived and available on-line.