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Life Sciences Warwick Crop Centre

We are an internationally recognised centre for translational research in sustainable agriculture, horticulture and food security.

The School of Life Sciences was ranked 2nd in the UK for Agriculture, Food and Veterinary research in the Government's 2014 “Research Excellence”

University of Warwick signs agreement with agronomy specialist to bring UK beans to market

Eric with Navy BeansThe University of Warwick’s research commercialisation wing, Warwick Innovations, has signed a contract with agronomy specialist Agrii to promote the commercial production of UK haricot beans developed by Professor Eric Holub from Warwick’s Crop Centre, part of the School of Life Sciences. Professor Holub has bred three haricot bean varieties which are adapted for growing in the UK climate and are more suited to standard farm machinery.

“Self-sufficiency in food production is important for reducing human impact on global climate. British-grown beans can help us shift our diets to a healthier future, adding to other UK ingredients to supply the growing trend of flexitarian diets with new markets like Brit-Mediterranean and Brex-Mexican style food.” Professor Holub.

Press release (9 Feb 2021) Agrii news item

Identification of microbial signatures linked to oilseed rape yield decline at the landscape scale

MicrobiomeSally Hilton, Emma Picot, Susanne Schreiter, David Bass, Keith Norman, Anna E. Oliver, Jonathan D. Moore, Tim H. Mauchline, Peter R. Mills, Graham R. Teakle, Ian M. Clark, Penny R. Hirsch, Christopher J. van der Gast & Gary D. Bending 

The plant microbiome plays a vital role in determining host health and productivity. Here we investigated landscape scale rhizosphere microbial assembly processes in oilseed rape (OSR) which suffers from yield decline associated with the frequency it is grown in rotations. By including 37 conventional farmers’ fields with varying OSR rotation frequencies, we present an innovative approach to identify microbial signatures characteristic of microbiomes which are beneficial and harmful to the host. We show that at the landscape scale, OSR crop yield is governed by interplay between complex communities of both pathogens and beneficial biota which is modulated by rotation frequency. Our comprehensive study has identified signatures of dysbiosis within the OSR microbiome, grown in real-world agricultural systems, which could be used in strategies to promote crop yield.

Microbiome. January 2021

The Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN) is an interactive network of researchers and industry leaders, who work together to promote market delivery of improved vegetable varieties using sustainable production systems. VeGIN brings together research on the genetic improvement of carrot, onion, leafy vegetables and salads. It benefits from knowledge arising from satellite projects funded by industry and other government funders and provide underpinning resources for such projects. The last Stakeholder meeting was held online on 1st April 2021. If you are interested in joining this network, please email Guy Barker,

Core Research

Andrew Taylor researching onions

Education and Training

Education and training at WCC

Working with Industry

Industry experts in field


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