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£1.2 million boost to crop research at University of Warwick

  • New funding to develop scientific breakthroughs in crop research and innovation

The University of Warwick is set to receive £1.2 million in funding to support its pioneering research in improving the resilience, sustainability and productivity of UK crops, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced today.

john_clarkson_2_web.jpgA £5.3 million funding package shared between four of the UK’s leading agricultural research centres is set to help develop new technologies and environmentally innovative food production for farmers and growers across the country.

Research teams at the University of Warwick will use their share of the funding to develop new scientific insights to boost the productivity for leafy vegetables as part of Defra’s Crop Genetic Improvement Networks (GINs).

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Developing new technology is crucial to making sure our farmers continue to innovate, growing world-class produce in an environmentally friendly way.

“Through this new funding, I hope to see new growing practices and crop protections develop so we can truly unlock the potential of our food and farming industries.”

Since opening in 2009, the University of Warwick’s vegetable research programme has:

  • Used data available to maintain and improve datasets of carrot, onion, brassica and lettuce
  • Identified important commercial traits, leading to discovery of new disease resistance and increased crop yields
  • Developed new technologies to analyse existing germ cells and develop new markers for traits to improve crop potential
  • Carried out field glasshouse trials to discover and incorporate beneficial genes into crop breeding programs

Dr Guy Barker, who leads on the Vegetable GIN at the University of Warwick, said: “The Vegetable GIN supports the horticultural sector to address the challenges associated with sustainable production.

“We welcome the opportunities presented by Defra’s five-year commitment, allowing us to utilise the unique diversity available from the UK Vegetable Genebank to produce more resilient crops varieties for future generations.”

For press information, contact:
Andrea Cullis
Media relations manager
University of Warwick
E: a dot cullis at warwick dot ac dot uk
DD: 02476 528050
M: 07825 314874