Introduction

Established in 1987, the State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (LSEB) was formerly a laboratory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Joined by the Herbarium (including Chinese Paleobotany Museum), the Plant Taxonomy Department and the Palaeobotany Department, the laboratory became a state key laboratory on March 22th, 2005; and passed the assessment organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China on September 7th, 2007. The laboratory locates in the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences IBCAS. The chair of the academic committee is Academician Xiao-Ya Chen, and the director is Professor Xiao-Quan Wang.   

The laboratory aims to study on the pattern, formation and variation of plant species diversity, to reconstruct plant phylogeny, and to unravel the processes and mechanisms underlying evolution. The laboratory also studies character variation and genetic background of resource plants, especially evolutionary and developmental patterns of key characters, to provide a theoretical basis for the genetic improvement of crops and economic plants, and for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

The laboratory won the National Nature Science Prize several times, and plays a substantial role in plant phylogenetic researches. The laboratory also acquired many important research results in evolutionary mechanism, biogeography and Tree of Life.

The laboratory constructed an unique research team on related scientific fields. There are currently 91 staff members, including two CAS academicians, 23 professors and 17 associate professors, plus 22 technicians and administrators. The laboratory recruited 6 overseas experts. There are 5 researchers selected by the “Hundred Talents Project” of the CAS, four won the State Excellent Youth Scientific Funds.

The laboratory pays great attention to communicate and cooperate with outside researchers. Decades of scholars come from all over the world visit the lab each year and establish collaboration relationships. Meanwhile, more and more laboratory members go abroad to attend international conferences and communicate with foreign experts. The herbarium exchanges thousands of specimens with foreign countries and regions each year. There are many foreign and Chinese researchers and visitors come to the herbarium each year, which plays an effective role in scientific research and public education.

Combined with the support of IBCAS and CAS, the laboratory utilizes current basis and scientific accumulation to accelerate the development of both classical and frontier research subjects. Take advantage of synthetical methods, the laboratory will try the best to acquire more important and original discoveries to promote plant scientific research.