Almost £10,000 has been donated over the month-long campaign, which had a target of £7,000. Any additional donations will go towards sequencing DNA from another Aloe species. The campaign ends at midnight tonight (4 August).
Aloe vera is one of the most commonly used ingredients in food and cosmetics, and has been used for for over 2000 years. But with hundreds of other Aloe species growing throughout Africa, emerging industries are beginning to use these other species instead. Kew's research aims to take the first steps to inform future sustainable industries using aloes.
Using DNA sequencing, scientists will investigate the relationships between Aloe vera and its wild relatives for the first time, in order to look more closely at the plants' useful properties. It will help determine whether Aloe vera's cosmetic and medicinal properties are unique, or whether other species share these features.