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Seed store

seedstoreRummage around any potting shed or laboratory and you are bound to come across a packet or two of stored seeds. Great! But on closer inspection you find it hard to ascertain ‘what they are’, as the packets are either blank, half scribbled on, with data that over the years has become worn and un-intelligible. So you try to grow them anyway and you find that the viability is poor and germination erratic...

Welcome to the world of seed banks, vital for the storage, care and maintenance of seeds relating to specific research projects. Seed are living organisms needing adequate conditions that are constantly maintained in order to survive long term. At the Sainsbury Laboratory, the seed store provides a controlled environment giving the International Day Room Standard of 15% relative humidity at a temperature of 15˚C. This gives us the opportunity to store plants such as Arabidopsis for over 200 years, whilst still maintaining 85-95% viability

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SLCU gets ready for the Festival of Plants

May 16, 2017

Can we improve crop photosynthesis to feed the world sustainably? A lecture by Prof Steve Long as well as tours, talks and activities mark SLCU's involvement in the upcoming Festival of Plants on 20 May.

How to become a giant cell? Fluctuations in a key regulator guide cell size in flower organs.

Mar 06, 2017

A key regulator has been discovered to determine cell size in flowers through random fluctuations. Counterintuitively, this randomness can lead to patterns. This finding helps us to understand how biological patterns are initiated, how shape and size are determined during growth, and may lead to important discoveries improving crop yields.

Ottoline Leyser honoured with the 2017 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award

Jan 09, 2017

EMBO and FEBS announce SLCU Director Professor Ottoline Leyser as the recipient of the tenth FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award.

Plant ‘thermometer’ discovered that triggers springtime budding by measuring night-time heat

Oct 27, 2016

A photoreceptor molecule in plant cells has been found to moonlight as a thermometer after dark – allowing plants to read seasonal temperature changes. Scientists say the discovery could help breed crops that are more resilient to the temperatures expected to result from climate change.

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