Other News

Stories not categories under anything else

Apr 212017
Original Darwin specimen - Tiquilia darwinii

The Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh dates back over 150 years to the mid-19th century and there are new and exciting specimens still to be discovered among the three million specimens. Two years ago Martin Gardner, one of the botanists at RBGE, unexpectedly came across two specimens of the borage family (Boraginaceae) collected […]

Apr 122017
Cleaning the Schistidium PCRs

Once we realised that most of our plate of Schistidium ITS2 amplifications had been successful, it was an easy decision to process them all for DNA sequencing. If a higher proportion had failed, we would have had to “cherry pick”, selecting and transferring the successful reactions into new tubes. Every sequencing reaction has a cost, and […]

Apr 112017
Gel electrophoresis of Schistidium ITS DNA

  Once the polymerase chain reaction is over, it’s time to Run The Gel; this is make-or-break time, when we find out if our PCR amplification has actually worked. The first step is to prepare and pour the gel. The gel is a 1-2% mix of agarose in a salt-containing buffer solution (for us, this is usually 1x […]

Apr 102017
Backhouse specimens in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The Backhouse family is more widely known for their nursery based in the north of England. However, several members of the family also collected herbarium specimens which are now held in herbaria in Edinburgh, London, Melbourne and Missouri. To date we have found and databased nearly 250 specimens in the RBGE Herbarium and these can […]

Apr 092017
In memory of Private John Hatley (1879-1917)

John Hatley wasn’t at RBGE very long, joining us on 23rd July 1914 as a labourer at the age of 35. Genealogical researcher Garry Ketchen has been able to give us more information about Hatley’s life prior to this. He was born in Edinburgh in June 1879 to glass cutter Francis Hatley and his wife […]

Apr 062017
March 2017 Garden Wildlife Report

March 2017 was mostly cool, sometimes distinctly chilly, and some light snow fell in the third week. Towards the end of the month, however, there was an abrupt change to very mild, even warm, spring-like weather with glorious sunshine. What rain fell was mostly at night or concentrated in short spells. Strong winds closed the […]

Apr 062017
Copying moss DNA in the molecular lab

After we extracted a plate’s worth (12 columns by 8 rows, or 96 samples) of Schistidium DNA, the next step in our process is to copy a preselected part of that DNA, using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). For this study with Wolfgang, we are copying a region of nuclear DNA known as the Internal […]

Apr 062017
Estates Update 2016/2017

The Estates Department as part of the Corporate Services Division, plans its works around the standard accounting financial year from 1st April to 31st March, and at this time we are already focused on the coming year and the tasks which require planning and implementing across all four gardens. Spring time is also when the […]

Apr 052017
The trials and tribulations of a moss in the lab: DNA extraction

Just over a week into our current Synthesys-funded Schistidium project, and Wolfgang has picked through piles of packets of mosses, selecting the 96 that we would most like to get DNA sequences for, and putting tiny pieces of them into plastic tubes for DNA extraction. Down in the basement, we have a storeroom with racks […]

Apr 042017
Welcome to the Estates Department!

The Estates Department of RBGE manages over 30,000m² of built environment across the four Gardens, comprising in excess of 100 separate buildings, located within approximately 270 acres of land. The Gardens are all held in the name of Scottish Ministers and leased to RBGE generally on 99 year leases. The estate comprises many different types […]