XVIII International Botanical Congress

The XVIII International Botanical Congress was in Melbourne from 23-30 July 2011.

We helped run the media room for the event. You can see the stories released throughout the conference below.

Download a report highlighting some of the media coverage of  the conference  here

View the conference website here: http://www.ibc2011.com

Botany and religion agree on Latin

  • What is acacia?
  • No plants…no humanity – call for action
  • And other stories from the XVIII International Botanical Congress

Over 2,000 plant scientists from 73 nations adopted a series of motions at the conclusion of the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne on Saturday, 30 July.

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XVIII International Botanical Congress resolutions

Preamble

As many as two-thirds of the world’s 350,000 plant species are in danger of extinction in nature during the course of the 21st century. Human beings depend on plants for almost every aspect of life, and our expectations of using them to build more sustainable, healthier, and better lives in the future. [click to continue…]

Saving the world’s wheat from rusting

Australia’s wheat crop looks to have been saved from a devastating infestation of rust—for now.

In 1999 a new strain of stem rust, a devastating fungal disease of wheat, emerged in Uganda. It has now spread to north to Yemen and Iran, and south to South Africa. Rust transport from South Africa to Australia by wind has been documented in the past. [click to continue…]

War on Willows

Posted on behalf of CSIRO, Ref 11/82

Willows are major environmental weeds of riverbank habitats across much of south-eastern Australia.  They obstruct water flow, increase water temperature, change water chemistry and can displace native riverine plant species.

A CSIRO project looking at the reproductive ecology and dispersal ability of the most aggressive invasive species of willows in Australia is providing urgently needed information to help land managers more efficiently control this weed. [click to continue…]

Thursday’s stories at the Botanic Congress

At the Botanical Congress today

  • Secrets of a voodoo plant revealed – it could reshape Australian crops, and rescue African farmers from a disastrous plant parasite
  • How cotton was born: a million year-old mating opens up an improved future
  • Is there too much cyanide in imported cassava products?
  • Sister Water Lily meets the Big Bad Banksia Man – do they hold the key to a new era in botany education?
  • Why life depends on plants and what we need to do to for biodiversity and humanity – an op ed from Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus,MissouriBotanical Garden. [click to continue…]

Thursday's stories at the Botanic Congress

At the Botanical Congress today

  • Secrets of a voodoo plant revealed – it could reshape Australian crops, and rescue African farmers from a disastrous plant parasite
  • How cotton was born: a million year-old mating opens up an improved future
  • Is there too much cyanide in imported cassava products?
  • Sister Water Lily meets the Big Bad Banksia Man – do they hold the key to a new era in botany education?
  • Why life depends on plants and what we need to do to for biodiversity and humanity – an op ed from Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus,MissouriBotanical Garden. [click to continue…]

What’s living in your street?

The Atlas of Living Australia will tell you.

Within 5 km of News Limited in Holt Street, Sydney for example there are reports of at least 3,500 different animal species, and 2,400 plant species.

ABC Southbank in Melbourne is a neighbour to more than1200 animals and 519 plants. In the coming months the records will be more detailed as institutions add their records. [click to continue…]

Fighting famine with botany

A family of plant hormones, known as the strigolactones has provided researchers with a new lead in the fight against one of the world’s most devastating plant parasites, the African witchweed or voodoo plant, the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne will be told today.
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Shaping the plants of the future

A hormone that determines the size and shape of crops could improve harvests, and help in the control of  a vampire plant according to Queensland researchers presenting their work today at the International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia. [click to continue…]

How cotton was born

A million year-old mating opens up an improved future

A coming together and genetic merging of an American plant with an African or Asian plant one or two million years ago produced the ancestor of the bush that now provides 90% of the world’s commercial cotton. And although the resulting plant has been domesticated and changed genetically by breeding over thousands of year, it retains a genetic structure and capacity which is conducive to further modification. [click to continue…]

Growing drugs, Identify life and make way for microbes. Wednesday at Botanical Congress

Queensland researchers believe future cancer drugs could be grown in sunflowers and ultimately delivered as a seed ‘pill’.

They’ve got a long way to go, but the concept illustrates the power of modern botany to deliver everything from new medicines, to functional foods, and customised biofuels. More below.

Also at the International Botanical Congress in Melbourne today: IdentifyLife will empower everyone to identify plants and animals. Make way for the microbes – can plants help us create a sustainable future or do we need to turn to microbes? [click to continue…]

Could we grow drugs using sunflowers?

Queensland researchers believe future cancer drugs could be grown in sunflowers and ultimately delivered as a seed ‘pill’.

They’re a long way from that outcome. But, as they reported to the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne today, they have already shown that sunflowers make a precursor to cancer drugs as part of their defence against insect attack. [click to continue…]

IdentifyLife and Atlas of Living Australia joint release

photo: Leo Berzins

Posted on behalf of Lynne Sealie, Communication Manager, Atlas of Living Australia. Photos available.

The beginning of wisdom is to call a thing by its right name.” Chinese proverb

IdentifyLife is being launched at 1.00pm on Thursday 28th July at the International Botanical Congress in Melbourne. [click to continue…]

Tuesday at the International Botanical Congress

The world’s favourite tree

The world loves our eucalypts. Now Eucalyptus had become the world’s favourite tree for farming and today in Melbourne its genome is revealed at the International Botanical Congress.

Other stories today include: a series of talks on how plants will respond to climate change; more on the future of wine and the Breathing Planet Programme. [click to continue…]

Eucalyptus genetic secrets unlocked

Eucalyptus grandisThe world’s most farmed tree has had its genome read, opening the way to new breeding, biofuel, and conservation opportunities.

The genome of one of Australia’s biggest Eucalyptus trees, the Flooded Gum or Eucalyptus grandis, has now been mapped, allowing scientists and conservationists an insight into the secrets of an important piece of Australiana. [click to continue…]

Adapting crops and ‘natives’ to a changing climate

Posted on behalf of CSIRO

CSIRO scientists are investigating the potentially damaging effects climate change will have on Australia’s agricultural crops and native plants as carbon dioxide concentrations, temperatures and rainfall patterns change.

“We’re facing an urgent need to develop new crop varieties for anticipated conditions in 20 to 50 years,” said a team leader in the climate-ready cereals project at CSIRO, Dr Jairo Palta. [click to continue…]