Category: SciencePage 1 of 20

International declaration calls for a halt to plant extinctions

Earlier this month, the RBGE’s Deputy Keeper and Director of Science, Professor Pete Hollingsworth, travelled to China to join an influential meeting at the beautiful Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical…

Christmas Island and other ventures – legacy of RBGE gardener David Reid Tait

When I was contacted by Dr Bill Lynch in August 2018 with a query about a former RBGE gardener called David R. Tait and his work for Sir…

Fern Book Presents from Christmas Past – 2

In December 1945 the world was entering its fourth month of‘peace’ after six brutal years of global war. A small sign of that ‘peace’ was the arrival in…

Fern Book Presents from Christmas Past – 1

As 2018 nears its end, here are a couple of blogposts telling the stories behind two fern books from the shelves of the Royal Botanic Garden Library.  Both…

Trinity College Dublin and the Wallichian distribution of the East India Company’s Herbarium

The official establishment of the Herbarium at Trinity College Dublin is taken as 1840, with the appointment of Thomas Coulter (1793–1843) as the first Keeper and the incorporation…

Botanical Drawings made in Nepal for Nathaniel Wallich in 1821 by Vishnupersaud and Gorachand

When the museum and library of the East India Company, following its inheritance by the India Office of the British government, was dispersed in 1879 its fragments were…

Rare Book Collection

Interleaving in the RBGE Collections, Part 2: British Marine Algae

By Hannah Swan In this second part of the series on interesting insertions in RBGE volumes, I will delve into the various insertions in an 1874 copy of…

Local network, social media and a new generic ginger record for Nepal

The torch ginger genus, Etlingera, is distributed from India in the western through SE Asia to Australia and Fiji in the east. Botanical collections made in the 19th…

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WeDigBio at the Botanics

There’s a first time for everything and last week the RBGE herbarium digitisation team hosted its first WeDigBio onsite transcription event! Worldwide Engagement for Digitising Biocollections, WeDigBio, is…

In memory of Corporal Henry McBeath (1878-1918)

Henry McBeath was from Rogart in Sutherland, born in November 1878 to James McBeath, a farm grieve (foreman) and his wife Johan from Rovie, a farm in Rogart…

Polytrichum baits: cutting cleaned mosses

Following on from the rather unpredictable results we obtained from fragmenting duplicate aliquots of CTAB-extracted Polytrichum DNA in the Bioruptor, Isuru cleaned aliquots of IK31 and IK53 using…

Hybrid capture from degraded DNA: the mysterious case of the vanishing libraries

When we’re working out a protocol or troubleshooting, we spend a lot of time quantifying small quantities of fluids, looking at DNA concentrations on the DeNovix, running tapes…

Polytrichum baits: Cutting mosses

We started our lab work on the Polytrichum hybrid baits project on the 1st of October, by normalising some CTAB-extracted DNA with 0.1X TE to 55 µL of…

Generating a phylogeny of Polytrichum using hybrid baits

The current Next Gen Sequencing lab project at the Botanics involves looking at the phylogeny of Polytrichum section Polytrichum, using hybrid capture. The work will form part of…

Hybrid capture from degraded DNA: bead-cleaning away the adaptor peaks

After testing bead-to-sample ratios of 30:50, 35:50, 40:50, 50:50 and 60:50 on a Thermo Scientific™ GeneRuler™ 50 bp DNA Ladder, using Beckman Coulter AMPure XP beads, we focused…

Hybrid capture from degraded DNA: testing bead cleaning on a 50bp ladder

When we made our Begonia libraries, working with (in some cases) relatively small quantities of very degraded DNA, we should have diluted the adaptors. We didn’t. Consequently, we…

Rare Book Collection

Buchan Hepburn and McDouall East Africa and Angola Album 1904 – 1909

By Helen Bennett, Library & Archives Volunteer New light has been shed on the creation of Logan Garden by a previously unknown album of photographs and watercolours recently…

Rare Book Collection

Interleaving in the RBGE Collections, Part 1: The Flora of Forfarshire

By Hannah Swan Before publisher’s bindings were de rigueur, texts came in flimsy paper ‘wrappers’, leaving the permanent binding to the new owner. Because of this, many books from…

Hybrid capture from degraded DNA: quality metrics for duplicate extractions

For one of the taxa in our study set, Begonia scottii (living collection no. 20170076), we made a few replicate DNA extractions using Qiagen DNeasy plant mini-kits, and…

Meet the Valerian Family

“It’ll stink!  Tell me if you can’t stand it.  My cat adores it.”  Sweaty armpits, musty old rooms, smelly feet were all attempts at describing the smell of…