• Question: How many different plants have you discovered?

    Asked by anon-349092 on 30 Mar 2023.
    • Photo: Alison Tidy

      Alison Tidy answered on 30 Mar 2023:

      I don’t have the pleasure of going out into the world and discovering new plants. My work means that I create new plants or mutants and then study them, in this way I discover new proteins and genes and work out their function.

    • Photo: Sam Mugford

      Sam Mugford answered on 30 Mar 2023: last edited 30 Mar 2023 8:39 am

      I’ve never discovered a new plant species, and i don’t have the skills or knowledge to do this, so i might find a completely new species but i wouldn’t have a clue. I know more about how plants work at a microscopic level, and how their genes and proteins work.
      When i was first working it was easy to discover new genes and proteins, it was like being an explorer in the 14th century when you could discover parts of the world that weren’t on the map. Now its different, and we can sequence whole genomes easily, its like having satelite mapping of all the planets so we can discover all the genes and proteins in a species very quickly.
      This means we can spend our time finding out how the genes and proteins work together to make a plant.