52 Museums – this week on Instagram

The Reading University Museums and Collections are running the 52Museums account on Instagram this week.  We are theming entries around the alphabet and will be showcasing artefacts from A to Z. The Herbarium is one of those collections and so far we have letter ‘C’ for Coco-de-Mer and letter ‘H’ for Holotype.  Continue reading

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Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

WallaceLabelThe University of Reading Herbarium hosts a fascinating historic collection of ferns amassed by the energetic and well connected Katherine Murray Lyell, wife of Henry Lyell, but also sister-in-law to Sir Charles Lyell (who was married to Katherine’s sister Mary). Continue reading

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Microsatellite markers for DNA based identification of Narcissus cultivars

The first major refereed paper to emerge from Kalman’s thesis was published online today: MICROSATELLITE MARKERS FOR HOOP-PETTICOAT DAFFODILS (NARCISSUS SECT. BULBOCODII; AMARYLLIDACEAE) Applications in Plant Sciences 2016 4 (4): 1500127 http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.3732/apps.1500127

The paper describes the screening of a novel microsatellite library derived from DNA of the diminutive winter flowering Hoop-Petticoat daffodils that flower from November through to March.  This work forms one strand of Kalman’s PhD research and the first technical element to be published in a refereed journal.

This work will form the basis for further of Kalman’s papers but also the basis for the screening of a wide range of daffodil cultivars by Jordan Bilsborrow whose research on another major Narcissus section.  Both projects have been supported by the Royal Horticultural Society.

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Brief notes on some Percival Wheats

The cabinet housing Percival and Helbaeck samples.

The cabinet housing Percival and Helbaeck samples.

The University of Reading Herbarium houses a collection of wheat samples collected by John Percival.  Some of those samples are archaeological and these are housed in plastic boxes in metal drawers in the main herbarium.  To help scholars who wish to know which samples we hold, this blog includes a photograph of each of the drawers that make up the ‘P’ series numbers from P1-P121. Each box usually contains a handwritten label and some Charcoalized grains although the actual number is hugely variable.

Box P46 opened to illustrate the contents.

Box P46 opened to illustrate the contents.

There are many papers describing the Percival collections but no published images of the stored collections as far as I am aware.  The images each represent single storage drawers. Continue reading

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