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Major international push to maximize bioscience research to help world's poorest farmers
Date:11/20/2012

s food for everyone is one of the greatest challenges we face. This ground-breaking international partnership, of funders and scientists, will ensure that cutting- edge, fundamental bioscience is combined with vital local knowledge to develop sustainable, affordable solutions to increase crop yields and improve global food security."

The new initiative is being coordinated by BBSRC. The 16M is made up of 3M from BBSRC, 5M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (through a grant to BBSRC) and 7M from DFID. A further 1M has been provided by the DBT of India's Ministry of Science and Technology for projects involving India.

Each project includes at least one partner from the UK and one from a developing nation. This approach, used by BBSRC and DFID in previous programmes, aims to build scientific capacity in developing countries, with the aim of developing research teams and projects that tackle other local scientific challenges.

Examples include:

  • Sequencing historical DNA to tackle wheat's worst enemy
  • Using new DNA sequencing technologies and a variety of strains of the wheat disease 'yellow rust' from Africa, India and the UK, an international team of researchers will sequence current and historical collections of the disease to understand how it has evolved and to look at wheat genes best able to resist the pathogen in the future.
  • Unlocking ancient rice secrets to overcome rainfall extremes

Researchers from the UK, USA and India will work together to access valuable genetic information about variation in ancestral wild species of rice to try and identify beneficial segments of the genome that help plants survive drought.

Leaving a bad taste in aphids' mouths

Aphid-transmitted viruses pose a serious risk to beans and other major crops, resulting in large losses. An international team will survey bean growing areas in three distinct ecological zones within Uganda to look at how virus infection sh
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Contact: Tracey Jewitt
tracey.jewitt@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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