Tag: moss

DNA sequence variation within the common urban moss Grimmia pulvinata

Even with a plant as common, and as commonly overlooked, as this pollution-tolerant urban bryophyte, there is still genetic diversity to explore and explain.

The hidden distinctiveness of a threatened British moss

When conservation scientists are trying to decide which species are most in need of protection, the main consideration is usually how likely they are to become extinct, as…

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…

Untangling asetate Weissia species in the UK

Dr Des Callaghan spends rather a lot of his time chasing after rare things. He’s an environmental consultant with many strings to his bow, but a particular specialisation…

Santos & Stech’s phylogeny of Octoblepharum

As far as our 2013 RBGE MSc project proposal to generate a phylogeny of Octoblepharum goes, Juan Carlos Villarreal, Noris Salazar Allen and I were clearly not the…

Losing the story with a moss from Panama City

Spring Break’s a big thing in the US, and spring of 2005, Juan Carlos Villarreal and I spent ours on a road-trip down through Louisianna, looking for the…

Panamanian mosses from the back of the freezer

Several years back, I postdocced in Barbara Crandall-Stotler’s lab in Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In the late Autumn of 2003, Panamanian bryologist Noris Salazar Allen spent a few…

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…

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….

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…

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…

Campylopus introflexus, an invasive alien on the glasshouse roof

The moss Campylopus introflexus, native to the southern hemisphere, is now considered an invasive plant in parts of Europe and North America. While it occurs on some natural…

Schistidium caps an old wooden fence

Recently in Kufstein, the home of Austrian bryologist Wolfgang Hofbauer, the demolition of an attractive old building and clearing of trees and other plants from the land, leaving…

In plain sight – the mosses that grow on British walls

Plant diversity does not have to be far-flung and exotic to be worth studying; even within Scotland, there are unanswered questions about plant distributions. Growing in our towns and…

Hidden diversity in unexpected places – moss growth on modern building surfaces

Back in 2014, staff in the molecular lab and herbarium at RBGE greatly enjoyed a three-week visit from Austrian Dr Wolfgang Hofbauer. With funding from the EU SYNTHESYS…

Why bryophytes matter

As someone who has used taxpayers’ money to fund research on bryophytes (the collective term for mosses, liverworts and hornworts), ‘But why do bryophytes actually matter?’ is one…