Major changes in agricultural practices will be required to offset increases in nutrient losses due to climate change, according to research published by a scientific consortium including the James Hutton Institute.
Warwick University‘s School of Life Sciences is a partner in a new £1.4M 4-year project ‘SCEPTREplus’ funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The aim of the project is to deliver applied research on high priority disease, pest and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops in order to support approval of products and devise and develop IPM programmes. The project consortium is chaired by Ed Moorhouse (Agri-Food Solutions Director) and includes RSK ADAS, NIAB EMR and Stockbridge Technology Centre.
One of biology’s most charismatic relationships, credited with helping plants to colonise land more than 400 million years ago, has yielded a fundamental survival secret with implications for agriculture and biotechnology.
Plant scientists have discovered that a particular form of fungi, which invades plant roots and then helps the colonised plants to absorb nutrients from soil, receive life-sustaining carbon from their symbiotic hosts in the form of long-chain fatty acids, a building block for essential lipids.
Studies carried out by Warwick University‘s Dr Lauren Chappell, now an Elsoms plant pathologist, have identified the three main pathogens responsible for parsnip canker, providing a secure platform for the development of disease-resistant lines. Elsoms, a global leader in parsnip breeding, is investing heavily in research, state-of-the art breeding techniques and seed production to bring UK growers the very best varieties.
“Fresh thinking plus global science yields lasting benefit.” It’s the modern mantra of the world’s oldest research institute for agricultural science, which today launches an ambitious vision for the next five years at a time of unprecedented international uncertainty and diverse challenges, socially, economically and environmentally.