The Internet offers the potential to make information freely available to a worldwide audience. Kew will make increasing use of this medium to disseminate the information it holds on plants.
Vascular Plant Genera
TS Cyperus papyrus stem.
On 2 July 1996, two Kew publications, Vascular Plant Families and Genera (comp. R K Brummitt) and Authors of Plant Names (eds R K Brummitt & C E Powell), were made available as databases on the Internet at Kew's web site:
This makes data on about 25,100 genus names and approximately 29,700 authors available on-line to a worldwide audience. It is possible to search for details of a genus name or author, search for data on an author standard form, view a list of genera within family, and download the data to a local PC. The service is compatible with any commonly available web browser.
Contact: Mark Jackson (0181-332 5716)
A new Perkin-Elmer 377 series DNA sequencer is now operational in the Molecular Systematics Section. This will double the rate at which DNA can be sequenced, allowing 36 templates to be processed in seven hours. All the DNA samples purified at Kew are stored in a -80°C DNA bank. The number of species from which DNA has been extracted and purified currently exceeds 4,600, including about 1,100 orchids. A database of these species is being reformatted for dissemination on the Internet allowing scientists from around the world to request aliquots of DNA.
Contact: Dr Tony Cox (0181-332 5360)
The DAtaBAse of Tropical forest Tree Seed research (DABATTS) has been produced to collate the results produced from ODA-funded projects on tropical forest tree seed research. The information relates to 120 species distributed among 29 genera, mainly of Dipterocarpaceae, Meliaceae and Araucariaceae. DABATTS can be used as a source of information on the seed physiology of specific tropical tree species together with practical prescriptions on collection, transport and storage. Practical and theoretical aspects of seed have thus been brought into an easily accessible single system. It is available from the Seed Conservation Section either in printed (£23) or electronic (£14) forms.
Contact: Dr Paul Tompsett (0181-332 5087)
Anna Lynch presented a poster on Kew's Plant Anatomy Database at the XI European Congress on Microscopy EUREM'96 in Dublin (26 - 30 August 1996). This unique bibliographic database contains over 80,000 articles and is probably the most comprehensive computerised index to higher plant anatomy in the world.
Contact: Anna Lynch (0181-332 5316)