skip to content

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.

Latest news

Mechanical buckling of petals produces iridescent patterns visible to bees

14 September 2021

Flowers are employing a materials science phenomenon typically associated with failures in structural engineering to produce exquisite three-dimensional petal patterns to lure pollinators.

Renske Vroomans to lead plant evo-devo research at SLCU

10 September 2021

Dr Renske Vroomans has been appointed to the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) to lead research into the evolutionary dynamics of developmental processes in plants.

Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots

23 July 2021

Scientists have created plants whose cells and tissues ‘blush’ with beetroot pigments when they are colonised by fungi that help them take up nutrients from the soil.