• Question: Do you make plants

    Asked by anon-349304 on 7 Mar 2023.
    • Photo: Alison Tidy

      Alison Tidy answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      Hi yes sometimes we make different plants, by mixing the pollen with the flower of another species to make a new species. We often do this to plants that are similar to make better plants (that can grow different environments or are resistant to disease). Examples of how breeding can make different plants is califlower, brocolli, brussel sprouts, kale are all from the same original species.

      We can also make new types of plants, by adding or removing genes by genetically modifying them, a great example of this is golden rice where vitamin A genes where added so that golden rice has vitamin A in as well to stop people getting poorly.

    • Photo: Liz Barron-Majerik

      Liz Barron-Majerik answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      Plants make themselves, we don’t need to make them, but if we want them to grow and be healthy somewhere they wouldn’t normally grow, then we need to give them the right amount of light, heat and water, and something for them to grow in, like soil.

    • Photo: Phil Howell

      Phil Howell answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      Plants usually make plants, but scientists can help that too. Usually by helping the plants to make lots of seeds, but did you know you can also grow a whole new plant from a tiny fragment of leaf, stem or root? Gardeners call this taking cuttings, but scientists also use similar techniques in the laboratory, this is called tissue culture.

    • Photo: Sam Mugford

      Sam Mugford answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      I haven’t made any plants completely from nothing, thats a long way beyond what we can do. But we can make new plants by crossing (for example) different varieties of tomato to make a new tastier tomato (that’s what plant breeders do to make the crops that feed us).

      Also in the lab we do things to make changes to the plants, we can put new genes in, or take genes out to change the way the plants grow and behave. We mostly do this to understand how they work, but we can also do it to make the plants better crops for growing food. For example we might put genes in that make them more nutritious, or better able to fight off diseases.

    • Photo: Ian Adams

      Ian Adams answered on 14 Mar 2023:

      I was involved in a project at York University to modify the production of an important antimalarial drug in the plant Artemisia Annua. We used modern molecular biology to speed up more traditional plant breeding techniques .

    • Photo: Felipe Becerra

      Felipe Becerra answered on 15 Mar 2023:

      Yes! I grow plants in a farm in central London. Check the video of the founder of my company talking about vertical farming!