Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

About blooming time: a plant's response to changing climate

We all know our climate is changing, but how will these increasing temperatures affect our plants?

The arrival of spring brings a rush of flowers, signalling the end of the bleak winter, and the promise of a balmy summer. But why do so many plants flower in the spring, and how do they time their flowering to coincide with spring every year?

Many plants actually need a long period of cold before they are able to flower; this ensures they only flower after the winter has passed, when conditions for setting seed are more favourable. Average winter temperatures have been rising over the past 25 years. Soon our changing climate may result in temperatures that are no longer cold enough to trigger this flowering process and plants may fail to flower at the correct time. This has serious and worrying implications for our environment and agriculture.

Researchers at the John Innes Centre are tackling this problem using a small weedy plant called Arabidopsis thaliana, commonly known as thale cress. This grows throughout the northern hemisphere from the equator to the Arctic circle, thus surviving a huge range of climates. The genome of this plant has been sequenced so it is relatively straightforward to identify the genes controlling growth and development. Our aim is to understand how this plant species has adapted to very different winter conditions, adjusting its flowering response to the length of the winter. This information may help plant breeders select crops suited to our changing climate.


Amy Strange | talks
Dr Judith Irwin | talks


Date and Time:

15 April 2008 at 6:30 am


1 hour 30 minutes



Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992

More at Royal Institution...



£8 standard, £6 concessions, £4 Ri members

Available from:

www.rigb.org or call 020 7409 2992

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund