Allium crops are grown and consumed worldwide. Our aim is to provide solutions to major challenges to onion and leek production, to enhance yield and quality for the benefit of producers and consumers.
The Genetic Resources Unit and Crop Breeding
- The Genetic Resources Unit seed collection has over 2400 accessions of Allium including onion, leek and wild species.
The Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN) is a Defra-funded project to bring together research focused on key vegetable crops. The Network encourages collaborations between industry and researchers to address how genetic improvement of crop varieties can contribute to a sustainable increase in food production to meet the twin challenges of food security and climate change. For onion, the project aims to deliver:
A defined onion diversity set of half sib families from 96 PGR accessions (Andrew Taylor)
Sources of resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cepae (John Clarkson and Andrew Taylor)
Sources of alleles for improved compatibility with mycorrhizal fungi (Gary Bending)
- Nitrogen fertiliser application is being matched to nutrient requirements of leek crops to maximise production of quality produce with minimal impact on the environment. Such information is vital to justify any changes in the national fertiliser recommendations. (HDC project FV350, 2009 to 2011). See HDC News July/August 2010 for further information.
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