The Oxford Botanic Garden is a national reference collection of 7,000 different types of plant, making it the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the World - there is even more biological diversity here than there is in tropical rain forests and other biodiversity hotspots.
Many gardeners come here to seek inspiration. In the beds and borders you may find new plants that would be perfect in your garden at home and partly for this reason we strive to label clearly every plant in the Garden.
Plants are grown in this Garden to support our teaching programmes, for research scientists in this University and elsewhere and as part of plant conservation projects.
Manipulating plant genes - how do you actually do it?
We often hear in the news about GM (Genetic Modification or Manipulation) but what does it actually involve? In this lecture Liam Dolan will explain how scientists go about manipulating the instruction manuals of plants with illustrations from his own research. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Achieving food security and sustainability for 9 billion
To ensure food security for the increasing world population in a environmentally sustainable way, we must double productivity on the same area of land. as well as address the concerns of modern high input agriculture, declining water availability and climate change. Join us to hear Chris Leaver talk about the importance of investing in science and technology - essential tools in increasing the efficiency of agriculture and attempting to reverse the impact of man- made climate change. In his words 'Doing nothing is not an option' Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Plants in a chemical world
Plants are able to metabolise a surprisingly diverse range of synthetic chemicals including pesticides and pollutants. These chemical reactions are important in global agriculture, as the ability of crops to metabolise herbicides rapidly is the primary determining factor in selective weed control in all our major cereals. In addition these chemical transformations are of general interest to consumers as they determine the fate, and toxicity, of residues entering the food chain. Join us to hear Rob Edwards (Food and Environment Agency Chief Scientist) talk about the mechanisms by which plants metabolise synthetic chemicals and recent progress in understanding the underpinning biology and biochemistry. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
From hairy roots to new medicines
Modern medicine uses many compounds which are isolated from plants. For example, vinblastine, which is used to treat many types of cancer, is isolated from the leaves of the Madagascar periwinkle. Sarah O'Connor will talk about her work in understanding the process by which the plant makes this substance. Not only will this lead to cheaper vinblastine but also to the production of slightly modified versions of vinblastine which may have improved medicinal properties. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
The gene garden
The spectacular variety of colour and growth form seen in our gardens is the result of the action of thousands of genes operating in pathways and networks. However, the basic principles of genetics are very simple and this lecture will explain how genes work, how they give rise to colour and form, and how they are re-assorted during reproduction to produce new and exciting plant varieties. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Using Science to Enhance Root Function in Crops
Part of the Future of Crops Lecture Series held at the Oxford Botanic Gardens. Enhancing root function offers great promise in the development of sustainable crops. This lecture will highlight the critical role played by roots in nutrient uptake and review the most recent scientific breakthroughs in this area. The future application of technologies based on these discoveries will be central to enhancing crop productivity in the forthcoming agricultural revolution.