Plant Micromorphology Bibliographic Database
A comprehensive database of the literature on plant anatomy
The Plant Micromorphology Bibliographic Database (PMBD) is a unique database maintained by the Micromorphology Section in the Jodrell Laboratory. The PMBD contains about 105,000 references and is probably the most comprehensive computerised index to higher plant micromorphology in existence. It covers most work published in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries on vegetative plant anatomy and in the latter decades includes reproductive and pollen/spore morphology, and is regularly updated with new literature. All aspects of angiosperm and gymnosperm plant structure are included, together with vegetative anatomy of pteridophytes. Common subject areas include ontogeny, ultrastructure, techniques, palaeobotany, embryology, physiology and seed anatomy, also including major phylogenetic papers. As new techniques or research areas grow in importance they will be included and indexed appropriately.
All citation details for the references are entered. For the majority of references in the database, usually the generic names (but not at the species level) have been added, along with keywords from a selection of over 260+ to enable searches by subject, and also keywords for the assigned plant family.
Throughout its history its purpose has been to support the scientific research going on in the Micromorphology Section within the Jodrell Laboratory, in particular the publication of the Anatomy of the Dicotyledons, and Anatomy of the Monocotyledons monographic series. It also supplies recent references to other publications for example Orchid Research Newsletter. The PMBD was initiated in the 1930s on index cards, computerised in 1985, and launched on the RBG Kew external website in 2001. In 2002 it was included as a dataset in Kew's ePIC (electronic Plant Information Centre) and as part of this has been queried over 500,000 times since its launch. More recently, the database structure of the three strategic bibliographic databases (including PMBD, Kew Record and Economic Botany Bibliographic Database) was re-designed and since the end of 2005 complex searches can be made across all three databases at the same time as part of the web-based Kew Bibliographic Databases search page.
The more recent software developments include the ability to save searches and to output the search results easily into reference management software e.g. EndNote, or as delimited files, enabling the reuse of fully-formatted references in cited reference lists within research papers. However, due to this development and to the unavoidable variation in record data over the long period of inputting, substantial editing of some records is necessary but will benefit the end user with the full realisation of designed functions.