2nd Jun 2015

On June 1st the BBSRC announced the results of a joint funding call (with NERC) that resulted in more success for members of the GARNet community. Six projects, worth a total of £4million, are awarded under the Horticulture and Potato Initiative, which focuses on the development of crops that are resiliant to both climate change and disease.

Current GARNet advisory board member Katherine Denby (Warwick) is part of a collaborative project with Carol Wagstaff (Reading) and Paul Hand (Harper Adams) to investigate the effects of fungal pathogens across horticulturally important crops.

After last weeks publication in Cell, Professor Jonathan Jones at the John Innes Centre received more good news as his collaborative work with Pete Unwin (Leeds) has received funding to look at increasing disease resistance and commercial appeal of Maris Piper potatoes.

Dr Steve Penfield has recently taken a position at the John Innes Centre and he has immediately rewarded the Institute by securing a large grant to investigate many factors that control seed production, mostly in new varietes of Brassica. This work is in collaboration with Professor Julian Moger (Exeter), who is involved in the innovative field of biophotonics.

Dr John Walsh (Warwick), a plant virologist who uses Arabidopsis in some of his work, is collaborating with Martin Williamson (Rothamstead) to investigate the unusual biology of the interaction of turnip yellows virus with Brassica species.

Elsewhere, Xiangming Xu at East Malling has secured funding to investigate Apple Replant Disease whilst a broad collaboration between Harper Adams (David Pink), Reading (Carol Wagstaff again!) and Warwick (Guy Barker) has secured over £1million to study different aspects of improving growth of lettuce.