Navigation Links
Southampton to help develop new crops for water-stressed environments
Date:11/12/2012

The University of Southampton is to lead a new 11.6 million EU funded research project to develop new drought tolerate crops for bioenergy and bio-products.

Professor Gail Taylor, Director of Research for Biological Sciences, is leading a new 22 partner research consortium that has gathered experts from across Europe to address the issue of crop productivity in a future climate, where episodes of drought and water shortage become increasingly common.

Water availability and quality have already been identified as the main pressure on societies as they adapt to global climate change over the coming decades. Water plays a crucial role in determining crop yield and in the drought of 2003, crop productivity across Europe fell by over 30 per cent. Irrigation water is scarce and not an option on much of Europe's land, so we need crops that better withstand drought.

The research is bringing together academics, crop breeders and commercial partners with the single focus of developing new plants for this future climate. The project is concerned with non-food crops for energy use poplar, miscanthus and giant reed and the approach is to use the very latest technologies now available for DNA genome sequencing.

Professor Gail Taylor comments: "Our primary aim is to characterise the vast amount of DNA variation in these under-utilised crops and harness this to produce better crops. Even five years ago this project wouldn't have been possible as DNA sequencing was relatively expensive. Now we are sequencing the genome of more than 50 poplar trees, sampled from across contrasting sites in Europe, including droughted southern sites. From this we can identify small changes that might give us a clue to survival in stressful environments.

"These DNA variants can then be used in breeding programmes, enabling us to harness the power of molecular biology without the necessity of GM crops."

The project places emphasis on bringing benefits for Europe through the development of new drought tolerant varieties. One of the partners is SweTree Technologies from Sweden, which is a forest biotechnology company. As the partner responsible for coordinating this commercialisation, Dr Magnus Hertzberg from SweTree comments: "The biological research conducted since Crick and Watson revealed the structure and function of DNA has reached the point where we can expect major breakthroughs in plant breeding. This EU funding has made possible a great collaboration between research scientists in universities and companies who deliver the benefits to society."

Benefit to society is a strong theme of the project. Dr Donal Murphy-Bokern will coordinate the consortium's communications and interactions with policy-makers. He comments: "The increasing use of biomass for energy presents Europe with two great challenges: delivering the biomass without competing with food production or reducing already stretched water resources. This research addresses both directly."


'/>"/>

Contact: Glenn Harris
44-023-805-93212
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Southampton researchers lead 2 international projects to help people out of poverty
2. Gannets could be affected by offshore energy developments
3. Ben-Gurion University team in prestigious DARPA Robotics Challenge to develop disaster response robot
4. Development of measures to prevent wine indispositions
5. New findings on gene regulation and bone development
6. Developmental bait and switch
7. Berkeley Lab scientists help develop promising therapy for Huntingtons disease
8. HJF works with global team to develop equine vaccine against deadly hendra virus
9. First-ever 3-D stress map of developing embryonic heart sheds light on why defects form
10. The role of stem cells in developing new drugs
11. Distinct developmental patterns identified in children with autism during their first 3 years
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Southampton to help develop new crops for water-stressed environments
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ), ... through the development of innovative products and services, announced ... United States denied its petition to review ... Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are not ... the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. ... and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading ... was today awarded as one of the World ... world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering ... real world in the nutrition, health and consumer ... with customers including Fortune 500 companies to design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension ... are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension ... bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: