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Sainsbury Laboratory

 

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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Latest news

Peas n Chips: Creating food security with African Yam Bean

8 April 2021

Can one plant produce both tasty and nutritious beans and tubers? Yes, the African yam bean can. Not only does it grow high-protein edible grains and tubers, this drought-resilient crop also replenishes the soil and is highly adaptable to varying-climates.

How plant stem cells renew themselves – a cytokinin story

8 April 2021

The mechanism by which the plant hormone cytokinin controls cell division has been discovered – a breakthrough that significantly improves our understanding of how plants grow.

Integrating maths and plant science to explain how plant roots generate a hormone gradient

15 February 2021

The research team that developed a biosensor that first recorded that a distinct gradient of the plant growth hormone gibberellin correlated with plant cell size has now revealed how this distribution pattern is created in roots.