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Seed-collecting in China’s Yunnan province

Jonas Mueller with Chinese colleagues
Sun, 2015-04-12 10:04

Banking seeds in China

Kew scientists helped establish the Kunming Institute of Botany’s Germplasm Bank of Wild Species (GBOWS), which was opened in 2007. Situated in Kunming, Yunnan province, it is the largest seed bank for wild species in Asia with more than 62,000 seed collections stored in its vaults, representing almost 8,500 wild species of the Chinese flora.

Mind the (gender) gap?

Mon, 2015-03-30 11:36

Kew's data resources

Cold-driven extinctions

Wed, 2015-03-11 11:49

Effect of extinctions on ecosystems

Species extinction is one of the fundamental processes shaping biodiversity as well as the appearance and function of ecosystems. Extinction of entire groups of related organisms is more likely to have drastic ecosystem consequences than species losses that are spread evenly across the tree of life and is less easily amended by the evolution of new species. Understanding what circumstances lead to the loss of entire branches from the tree of life is crucial.

Homoglutathione in legumes

Centrosema pubescens
Tue, 2015-03-10 13:52

Glutathione (γ-glutamylcysteinylglycine), a tripeptide found in all higher eukaryotes, has antioxidant properties and plays a key role in maintaining cellular redox homeostasis. A glutathione homologue, homoglutathione, is found only in some species of Leguminosae and is believed to have arisen as a result of gene duplication after divergence of the orders Fabales, Solanales and Brassicales.

Mapping and monitoring mycorrhizal fungi on a European scale… why and how?

Mycorrhizal sampling
Mon, 2015-03-09 11:19

Pressing need for large-scale studies

Fungi play critical functional roles in our changing ecosystems and represent a considerable proportion of terrestrial biodiversity. Mycorrhizal fungi are increasingly viewed as a major functional guild that controls the interactions of plants with soils across ecosystems. Even though our ability to study them is expanding rapidly, it has been severely constrained by the lack of information on fungal distribution at large scales and the availability of robust long-term environmental datasets.

An amazing new project is taking place to redesign the Broad Walk

Fri, 2015-03-06 16:30

Kew is embarking on a major new project to create the longest double herbaceous borders in the UK. Stretching for over 300 metres along either side of the Broad Walk from the Orangery to the Palm House Pond, these borders will be planted with swathes of vibrant summer flowering perennials, grasses and bulbs to form a spectacular new horticultural feature. Selected plants from Kew’s botanical collections will also be incorporated into the planting design. The first phase of this project is the resurfacing of the Broad Walk path with a resin bound gravel surface, edged with brick.