What colours are hidden in the leaves of plants? Why are the interactions between plants and insects so important? What are microalgae and how can they be used? Prepare your own seed paper and isolate DNA from berries. We invite you to a day filled with different activities around plants and plant research. Pass by and get fascinated by the world of plants!
On the 18th of May, the Fascination of Plants Day is arranged for the fifth time in Umeå. It will take place this year in Kafé Fika at Väven. Plant scientists will present their research in short lectures, you can see the plants they are doing research on and you can also experiment yourself.
The Fascination of Plants Day is an international event. More than 500 scientific institutions, universities, botanical gardens in more than 50 countries will open their doors to visitors. The aim is to get as many people as possible fascinated by plants and plant research. Get an impression from the previous Fascination of Plants Day in 2017 here.
For information in Swedish, please have a look on the national homepage of the Fascination of Plants Day: www.fascinerandeväxtersdag.se
Activities in Umeå
1) The hidden secrets of plants
Do you know what counts as a fruit and what as a nut? Test your knowledge in our botany quiz.
2) The impressive adaptability of plants
Many of our plants are found in several different landscapes. They grow in the mountains and by the sea. How do they manage to adapt and what role does temperature, water, light or other factors play? Come by and get impressed by the adaptability of the plants!
3) Plant babies on the move
Learn how seeds are spread and make your own seed papers!
4) Are the leaves just green?
Find out which colours are hidden in plant leaves and isolate them!
5) What are microalgae and what can we use them for?
Here you will see different species of microalgae used in biotechnology. Look in the microscope and compare differences in shape, size and mobility. We will show different products made from microalgae and you can experiment yourself and measure acidity with red cabbage juice.
6) DNA isolation from berries
Why does a tomato look different from a blueberry and why is the banana bent? Everything depends on DNA and genes. Here you can isolate DNA from plants using ordinary kitchen utensils.
7) Together we are strong: root-fungal symbiosis in the forest
Have you heard of ectomycorrhiza - a symbiosis between trees and fungi in the forest? Here you can discover fluffy, lean or coloured fungal cultures, look "underground" to observe the plant root structure, study the symbiosis in the microscope or with the help of sterile plant cultures. Let us open up the ground for you and show how we explore how fungi and plant roots talk and live with each other.
8) Life as thale cress - the world's most famous plant
Do you know thale cress or Arabidopsis thaliana? This is the most famous plant in plant research, even though it is "just" a weed. We will show you different forms and growth stages of thale cress and you can take one exemplar of this "celebrity plant" home if you wish.
9) What are stomata?
Stomata are microscopically small pores found on the leaf surface of plants. They regulate the gas exchange with the environment to take up for example carbon dioxide and release oxygen. At this station, you can take pictures of the leaf surface temperature while the stomata are closing in different parts of the leaf.
10) Mushroom growing
Learn more about how mushrooms grow on wood, how you can cultivate mushrooms and why this is interesting for the wood biomass industry!
11) Interactions between plants and insects
Why are the interactions between plants and insects so important? Learn more about plants that are necessary for pollinating insects, about bee keeping and take a look on our insect hotels. If the weather permits, we will offer a bee and butterfly safari around Väven!
12) Skogforsk's activities at Sävar station
Skogforsk, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, presents their activities at the Sävar research station. Look at the plants they are researching on and experience the fascinating variation of our forest trees.
13) Exhibition of bonsai trees
Bonsai trees are fascinating plants - how can they be so small and yet so old? The Bonsaisällskapet will show bonsai of our forest trees (e.g. spruce and pine) and explain how to make and care for a bonsai.
14) The Origin of a plant life
What do you know about the evolution of plants? How does flowering plants like maize or cabbage differ from coniferous trees like pine? Look at the origin of their lives and see how they evolve from seeds.
15) The Broparken gardening project
Did you wonder what is happening in the greenhouse at Broparken? Come by and look in! The Broparken's gardening group will present their projects and offer tours to the greenhouse.
16) Short scientific lectures (in Swedish and English)
At 12:00 o’clock and 14:00 o’clock you will have the opportunity to listen to the following five different short lectures (only 3 min long):
Pollineringsekologi: Varför är samspelet mellan växter och insekter så viktigt? Varför håller de pollinerande insekterna på att försvinna? Vad kan vi göra för att motverka det?
Natuschka Lee, researcher at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeå University
Nordic microalgae can clean our wastewater
Christiane Funk, professor at the Department of Chemistry, Umeå University
How do plants make plumbing pipes from cells?
Sacha Escamez, post doctor at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University
Winter is coming – but how does the tree know that?
Domenique André, PhD student at the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Stefan Jansson, professor at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University