From the food on our plates to the greens in our garden, many plants share one extraordinary characteristic – they contain two, three or even ten copies of their entire genetic code in each of their cells. This so called ‘polyploidy’ crams cells full of DNA and not only gives us weird and wonderful looking plants, but almost all of the plants we eat, every day.
Far from just providing us with enormous fruit and veg, polyploidy will help us take on great global challenges including food security, climate change and the development of climate-smart, resilient ecosystems. Professor Katherine Willis, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, took us fascinating journey from their genes, to our beans.
This event was the 2015 Michael Faraday Prize lecture, by Professor Katherine Willis, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The President of the Royal Society, Sir Venkatraman (Venki) Ramakrishnan, introduced the event.
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