Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

£3M to Fund Research into Some of the World’s Most Important Crops

Published: Friday, August 09, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, August 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The grants are the first round of the BBSRC's Horticulture and Potato Initiative (HAPI).

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, has awarded £3M in research funding to four projects to improve food security for some of the world's most valuable crops.

The £2.99M funding is the first round of awards from BBSRC's Horticulture and Potato Initiative (HAPI) which supports high-quality, industrially relevant research projects on potato and edible horticulture crops.

The Scottish Government has contributed £627,097 towards the research.

HAPI brings academic researchers together with industry in order to deliver bigger yields of better quality fruits and vegetables for the consumer, through more sustainable farming practices.
Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director of Innovation and Skills, said: "Potato is the world's third most important food crop after wheat and rice, with millions of people worldwide depending on it for food, feed and income.

"With a growing world population predicted to reach nine billion people by 2050, this research looking at maximising yields and minimising losses will advance knowledge and benefit UK and world-wide potato producers, thus contributing to an important UK economic sector and helping us towards achieving global food security."

The four projects focus on potato and onion, but the findings could have applications for a wide range of crops and agriculture.

HAPI will be releasing a second call for research funding later on the year.

The four projects receiving funding are:

Controlling dormancy and sprouting in potato and onion

Dr Glenn Bryan, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, working with: PepsiCo, ALBERT BARTLETT, AHDB-Potato Council, and Mylnefield Research Services.

Long term storage of onion and potato is often necessary, but can lead to losses when these crops sprout during storage. Storage techniques to prevent sprouting are often expensive and environmentally unsustainable.

This research will use advances in biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology to identify the genetic basis of dormancy and sprouting in onion and potato and seek to understand the physiological and molecular control steps, with a view to improving storage and reducing losses.

Establishing biofumigation as a sustainable pesticide replacement for control of soil-borne pests and pathogens in potato and horticultural crops

Professor Peter Urwin, University of Leeds, working with: Agrii, Biotechnical Solutions Ltd, Hay Farming Ltd, RJ and AE Godfrey, G&D Matthews, Richard Austin Agriculture Ltd, Barworth Agriculture Ltd, Tozer Seeds Ltd, AHDB-Potato Council and Horticultural Development Company (HDC).

This project will investigate biofumigation, a technique to suppress crop pests by introducing plants which produce chemicals detrimental to the pests, such as mustards, into soil.

It will seek to understand exactly how biofumigation works and how the potential of this technique can be exploited most effectively under field conditions.

Exploiting next generation sequencing technologies to understand pathogenicity and resistance in Fusarium oxysporum

Dr John Clarkson, University of Warwick, working with: HDC and Nickerson-Zwaan.

Fusarium oxysporum is a fungus which attacks many plants including onion, the world's second most valuable vegetable crop. It is estimated to cost UK farmers £11M a year in losses.

Using previously identified onion lines with increased F. oxysporum resistance, this work will provide information, tools and resources which will lead to more effective and sustainable control.

Strategies for integrated deployment of host resistance and fungicides to sustain effective crop protection

Dr Frank Van den Bosch, Rothamsted Research, working with: AHDB-Potato Council, Syngenta, Belchim Crop Protection Ltd and BASF AG.

Fungicides and resistant cultivars are the predominant control measures against most crop diseases, but little research has been done on approaches which combine both. Integrated control, where two or more control measures are applied, is widely believed to be more sustainable than over-reliance on one control option.

The project will use experimental and modelling approaches to analyse the durability of integrated control strategies using fungicides and resistant cultivars.

An integrated control strategy for potato blight will be developed to be implemented through the AHDB-Potato Council and industry partners. Models that can be used develop reliable integrated sustainable disease control strategies for pathogen-crop systems with also be established.

This announcement follows the launch of government's strategy for agricultural technologies, which aims to make the most of agriculture's opportunities and drive growth for the UK. The strategy recognises the importance of initiatives such as HAPI and will help to develop cutting edge technologies and take innovative products from the field to the shopping aisle. Developed in partnership with industry, the strategy will ensure everyone in the UK can share the benefits that these exciting opportunities bring.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Genome-Editing Position Statement
A group of leading UK research organisations has today issued an initial joint statement in support of the continued use of CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome-editing techniques in preclinical research.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Expanding the DNA Alphabet: 'Extra' DNA Base Found to be Stable in Mammals
A rare DNA base, previously thought to be a temporary modification, has been shown to be stable in mammalian DNA, suggesting that it plays a key role in cellular function.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Global Food Security (GFS) Develops New Funding Programme
New programme of research to tackle resilience of the food system.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
£4M to Fund Important Food Crops from BBSRC and NERC
Research projects designed with industry partners to maximize impact.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Controlling Leaf Blotch Disease In Wheat
Scientists have found a genetic mechanism that could stop the spread of a "devastating" disease threatening wheat crops.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Rising Temperatures Predicted to Lower Wheat Yields
An international consortium of researchers has used big data sets to predict the effects climate change on global wheat yields.
Friday, December 26, 2014
New Test For Detecting Horse Meat
New test compares differences in chemical compositions of the fat found in meats.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
UK And India Collaborate On Future-Proof Crops
Drought-tolerant tomatoes, improved wheat and grass pea could provide crops for the future.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Drugs Used to Treat Lung Disease Work With the Body Clock
Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered why medication to treat asthma and pneumonia can become ineffective.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Researchers Use ‘Big Data’ Approach to Map the Relationships Between Human and Animal Diseases
EID2 database used to prevent and tackle disease outbreaks around the globe.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
TGAC at the Forefront of Next Generation Sequencing Capability
The Genome Analysis Centre adds two Illumina HiSeq 2500 machines to its platform suite.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
UK Diet and Health Research Awarded £4M
Funding awarded to six projects investigating diet and health to enable the food and drink industry to meet the needs of UK consumers.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Better Understanding of Disease Resistance Genes in Crops
Effector-triggered defence concept describes how plants protect themselves against the apoplast.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Investment Provides Access to the World’s Most Advanced Crystallography Technology
The UK community will benefit thanks to a £5.64M investment from UK research funders.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Public-private Research Partnership to Support Sustainable Agricultural Systems
The partnership will support projects that will help provide solutions to key challenges affecting the sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Scientific News
Lung Repair and Regeneration Gene Discovered
New role for hedgehog gene offers better understanding of lung disease.
How Cell Growth Triggers Cell Division
Researchers in Jan Skotheim's lab have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that controls how large cells grow, an insight that could one day provide insight into attacking diseases such as cancer.
Microbe Sleuth
Tanja Bosak examines how life and the Earth evolved in tandem during their early history together.
3 Ways Viruses Have Changed Science for the Better
Viruses are really good at what they do, and we’ve been able to harness their skills to learn about – and potentially improve – human health in several ways.
Restoring Vision with Stem Cells
Age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) could be treated by transplanting photoreceptors produced by the directed differentiation of stem cells, thanks to findings published today by Professor Gilbert Bernier of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.
The Age of Humans Controlling Microbes
Engineered bacteria could soon be used to detect environmental toxins, treat diseases, and sustainably produce chemicals and fuels.
Mixed Up Cell Transportation Key Piece of ALS and Dementia Puzzle
Researchers from the University of Toronto are one step closer to solving this incredibly complex puzzle, offering hope for treatment.
Metabolomic Platform Reveals Fundamental Flaw in Common Lab Technology
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) shows that a technology used in thousands of laboratories, called gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), fundamentally alters the samples it analyzes.
Atriva Therapeutics GmbH Develops Innovative Flu Drug
Highly effective against seasonal and pandemic influenza.
New Gene Therapy for Vision Loss From a Mitochondrial Disease
NIH-funded study shows success in targeting mitochondrial DNA in mice.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos