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1. Growing the grass classification: Celebration of Derek Clayton’s 90th birthday and discussion about the future of GrassBase
Grasses feed the world and grasslands cover 20-40% of the planet. The grass family is one of the largest families of flowering plants with around 12,000 species. Grasses are more important for mankind than any other group of plants. Grasses have small flowering parts and complex floral morphology which is usually studied by dedicated specialists. Derek Clayton has been building a classification system for the grass family during his 56 years at Kew Gardens. He wrote the classic account Genera Graminum and went on to invent the world’s first electronic Flora and e-taxonomic system, GrassBase. GrassBase is a unique dataset of structured trait data maintained in the DELTA software system which is not supported on modern computers. Can GrassBase contribute to modern analyses and will it have use for future generations? How can grass trait data be mobilised? What are the possible connections between the study of grass diversity and other scientific disciplines? This meeting will bring together the global community of grass taxonomists to say thank you to Derek. The program will begin by exploring history and Gren Lucas, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, followed by Steve Renvoize, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will speak about Derek’s work. Rob Soreng from the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, will describe the recent advances in grass systematics and his work on the Catalogue of New World Grasses. Elizabeth Kellogg from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Missouri, will introduce Poaceae crop genomics and outline how the study of crops has helped us understand grass evolution. During the second part of the meeting we will explore the research uses of grass trait data and the significance of grass diversity for research into ecology, C4 photosynthesis, and breeding better crops. Confirmed speakers include Professor Peter Linder, University of Zurich, and Professor Colin Osborne, University of Sheffield. The meeting will conclude with presentations on descriptive taxonomic systems online and Maria Vorontsova, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will lead a discussion about the future for GrassBase. ... [Information of the supplier]
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