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Bristol researchers to gain from £250 million investment in UK biosciences

25 May 2012

Researchers within the School of Biological Sciences are set to gain from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC’s) recent announcement that it is to invest £250 million in UK bioscience.

As part of the award for wheat prebreeding, Professor Keith Edwards and Dr Gary Barker will use advanced genotyping technologies to broaden the wheat gene pool to include improved resistance to diseases and insects, greater tolerance to drought, salt and heat, and enhanced yield. The research project, which has attracted £1.4 million of funding, is co-ordinated by Professor Graham Moore at the John Innes Centre (JIC) and includes researchers from Rothamsted, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany and the University of Nottingham. It will focus on bridging the gap between publicly funded plant science and private breeding companies. The seed and genetic information, such as genetic markers for precision breeding, will be stored centrally at JIC’s Germplasm Resource Unit, but all seed and information will be free of patents and available to breeders and researchers worldwide.

The announcement is part of £250 million of strategic investment by BBSRC to ensure the UK’s bioscience research base remains globally competitive.