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Sainsbury Laboratory

 
Cryo-Scanning Electron Microscopy of Hibiscus trionum petal fracture. Image by Raymond Wightman. False colour processing by Gareth Evans.

Mechanical buckling of petals produces iridescent patterns visible to bees

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

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Renske Vroomans to lead plant evo-devo research at SLCU

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.

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Read more at: Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots

Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots

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.

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Dionysia tapetodes is an alpine plant with leaves covered in woolly farina. Image by Matthieu Bourdon .

Alpine plant spins its own flavonoid wool

Like the movie version of Spider-Man who shoots spider webs from holes in his wrists, a little alpine plant has been found to eject cobweb-like threads from tiny holes in specialised cells on its leaves.

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Plants get a faster start to their day than we think

To describe something as slow and boring we say it’s “like watching grass grow”, but scientists studying the early morning activity of plants have found they make a rapid start to their day – within minutes of dawn.

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How do plants hedge their bets?

In some environments there is no way for a seed to know for sure when the best time to germinate is. So how does a plant make sure that all of its offspring are not killed at once by an ill-timed environmental stress following germination?

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Giles Oldroyd at SLCU with lab area in background

Professor Giles Oldroyd elected to National Academy of Sciences

Professor Giles Oldroyd has been elected as an international member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.

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Peas n Chips: Creating food security with African Yam Bean

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.

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How plant stem cells renew themselves – a cytokinin story

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.

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

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.

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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.