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2 Posts tagged with the solanaceae tag
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We introduced our new digital herbarium project in a previous post: with the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, we are moving 70,000 plant specimens temporarily to Picturae, a specialist company in the Netherlands, so that the herbarium sheets can be imaged in the most speedy and effective way. 

 

The images will then be sent to Suriname for transcription of the typed and hand-written information on the sheets into electronic form.  The information includes the species identification, the place and date of collection and often the collector, that can link to field notebooks and other resources. The images and data will then be accessible via online databases to scientists and conservation biologists and others for research and better understanding of plant distribution and biogeography.

 

This is what it all looked like as we packed up and got ready to go - not many people see this, so worth showing:

 

NHM_JAJ_DSC_7974.jpgThe NHM herbarium compactors

 

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and the grey cupboards on the compactors

 

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Jacek Wajer removing specimens of Dioscoreaceae (yams and related plants)

 

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And wheeling them away on a trolley

 

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Steve Cafferty preparing the transport boxes for the specimens

 

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Jacek putting the specimens into the boxes

 

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with colleague Jonathan Gregson

 

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And Jonathan fitting the boxes onto the trolleys on which they will travel to Picturae in the Netherlands

 

 

More blogs to follow as the project progresses!  #DigitalHerbarium #NHM #Kew

 

 

@KewScience @NHM_Science

 


 


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The main Museum news stream features an article on the diversity of potatoes, referring to a paper produced by Dr Sandra Knapp and collaborators in Russia and the USA.  They refer to the 626 different names (both species and varieties of species) used to refer to cultivated potatoes that are in fact members of only four species.

 

It's tempting to see this diversity of names as a mistake, or untidiness in taxonomy.  The reality is more complex: the idea of what a species is and how it should be identified and named has changed over time.  In addition, cultivated strains are frequently bred to develop particular characteristics that may have appeared to scientists in the past to represent different species. The fact that we are now able to bring together information on physical morphology with DNA data means that ideas of species can be tested in a number of different ways and reasons for superficial differences associated with cultivated strains explained.

 

ANNA OVCHINNIKOVA, EKATERINA KRYLOVA, TATJANA GAVRILENKO, TAMARA SMEKALOVA, MIKHAIL ZHUK, SANDRA KNAPP and DAVID M. SPOONER Taxonomy of cultivated potatoes (Solanum section Petota: Solanaceae) Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society Volume 165, Issue 2, pages 107–155, February 2011DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2010.01107.x