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Katherine Willis

From Genes to Beans

Hay Festival 2016 , 

From the food on our plates to the greens in our garden, many plants share one extraordinary characteristic – they contain two, three or even 10 copies of their entire genetic code in each of their cells. This so-called ‘polyploidy’ crams cells full of DNA and not only gives us weird and wonderful-looking plants, but almost all of the plants we eat every day. The Director of Science at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and Michael Faraday Prize winner talks about polyploidy and how it will help us take on our great global challenges.