Plant Molecular Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor 1892-2012

The exhibition, “Plant Molecular Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor 1892-2012: Planting the Seeds of Knowledge in Education, Research and Discovery“, on view at Blackford details the history of plant biology at Cold Spring Harbor from the late 1800s through the present day. Plant genetics originated in CSHL with the inception in 1892 of a botany course of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Biological Laboratory. Shortly thereafter, the early scientific breakthroughs of C.I.W. Station for Experimental Evolution scientists such as George Shully, (hybridization of corn), brought plant science into real world applications.

C.I.W. Department of Genetics Scientist Barbara McClintock received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983 for her earlier discovery of “jumping genes”. The work currently being done by current CSHL plant geneticists builds upon McClintock’s research in the 1940s and 1950s.

In the 1980s, the laboratory acquired the Uplands Farm where the staff raises maize, tomato and Arabidopsis plants for study. In 1981, Delbrück-Page Laboratories were built as a home for the plant genetics program at CSHL.

Plant geneticists, including David Jackson, Rob Martienssen, Marja Timmermans, Zachary Lippman and Doreen Ware, work on the cutting edge of plant genetics, through its involvement in plant genome sequencing, the iPlant consortium and the Long Island Biofuels Alliance. This exhibit is on view until September 2012