Improving flowers to help feed the world
A rising world population means we’ll need more food in the coming years. But much of our food relies on insect pollination, and insects are in decline around the world. Can we make flowers better at being pollinated, to help solve this problem?
Noisy gene atlas to help reveal how plants 'hedge their bets' in race for survival
As parents of identical twins will tell you, they are never actually identical, even though they have the same genes. This is also true in the plant world. Now, new research by Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) is helping to explain why ‘twin’ plants, with identical genes, grown in identical environments continue to display unique characteristics all of their own.
How trees and turnips grow fatter
Plant science researchers from Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) and the University of Helsinki have identified key regulatory networks controlling how plants grow ‘outwards’, which could help us to grow trees to be more efficient carbon sinks and increase vegetable crop yields.
In search of the Amazon's tallest tree
Research has discovered the tallest known tree in the Amazon, towering above the previous record holder at a whopping 88.5 metres. This giant could store as much carbon as an entire hectare of rainforest elsewhere in the Amazon. Toby Jackson, a plant scientist in the University of Cambridge, took part in an expedition to find the tree in a remote region of northern Brazil, and validate its height the old-fashioned way – by climbing it.
First land plants were parasitised by microbes
Sainsbury Laboratory researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that the relationship between plants and filamentous microbes not only dates back millions of years, but that modern plants have maintained this ancient mechanism to accommodate and respond to microbial invaders.
Visualising photoprotection: how plants defend against high light
The CambPlants Hub presents work from the Kromdijk Lab, located in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. This is a condensed version of the work that was to be presented at Cambridge Science Festival in March 2020. In this video researchers from the Kromdijk Lab explore how plants are affected by and respond to high light, which can damage the photosynthetic machinery. They visualise the down-regulation of light harvesting in real time using a fluorescence imager.
Taking stomatal imprints: observing the tiny pores in leaves around you
The CamPlants Hub presents work from the Kromdijk Lab, located in the Department of Plant Sciences. This is a condensed version of the work that was to be presented at Cambridge Science Festival in March 2020, and is a step-by-step video detailing how you can take an imprint and observe stomata – the tiny pores in leaf surfaces that are responsible for regulating water and carbon dioxide exchange in the plant.
Cambridge University Herbarium
Last year, Curator of the University Herbarium, Dr Lauren Gardiner, was interviewed by Richard Westcott for BBC Look East after discovering a previously unrecognised specimen collected by Charles Darwin on the Voyage of the Beagle in the collection. This short film shows this and some of the other treasures held within the University Herbarium, an amazing archive over an estimated 1.1 million plant and fungus specimens collected over more than 300 years, from all over the world, and talks about some of the ways in which these specimens can be used in modern conservation research especially.