Recent Activity

 BCAI Funded Projects for 2021

Principal Investigator,   Project Title,     Award date,     Award Amount
Ulrike Bauer                   

Developmental Biology of Insect-repellent Surfaces in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants 

Jun 2021 £21,201
Keith Edwards and
Sacha Przewieslik-Allen
Understanding the Interaction Between
Introgressed DNA and the Wider Wheat Genome
Jun 2021 £19,577
Kerry Franklin

Control of plant development by UV-B
and temperature   

Jun 2021 £27,794

Nina Ockendon-Powell and
Diane Hird

CONNECTED Bridging Grant 

Jun 2021 £92,639

Emily Larson
Alice Baillie

Developing a FACS-based Method for
Vesicle Isolation in Plants 

Jun 2021 £40,114

Lucia Primavesi (1) 

Maximising the potential of our plant growth area 

Jun 2021 £28,833

Lucia Primavesi (2) 

Updating essential lab equipment in Life Sciences - multi-mode plate reader  

Jun 2021 £18,365

Keith Edwards and
Gary Barker  

A Bristol Next Generation Wheat
Breeders Array

Feb 2021 £20,386

Claire Grierson
Helen Harper

100 important questions for plant
science research

Feb 2021 £24,870
Emily Larson 

Using a suppressor screen to define trafficking
pathways that support 
polarised cell growth 

Feb 2021 £4,184

Emily Larson and 
Bethany Eldridge

Characterisation of an uncharacterised
ABCG transporter that affects
root-substrate adhesion in plants

Feb 2021 £56,344


Apples growing on tree branch

Outreach: Identifying apple samples sent in by the public

Mark Winfield

BCAI previously funded a project, led by Professor Keith Edwards, that developed a genotyping system – similar to human DNA fingerprinting – which can rapidly and easily identify apple varieties.

During September this year, researchers from Professor Keith Edwards' lab put out a call to the public to send in leaf samples from apple trees of unknown origin in order to identify them by genetic 'fingerprinting'. The public responded enthusiastically sending in more than 800 leaf samples. Many of the samples were accompanied by charming letters describing the history of old gardens and the trees they contain. Some people even sent in photographs of the apples and describe how wonderful they were as 'eaters' or 'cookers'.

The group have finished the genotyping ('fingerprinting') of these samples and compared the results with a database of 'fingerprints' of over 1,500 apple varieties (mainly collected from the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, Kent). The results have been made available on a specially created website.


GroDome lights fitted with white light LEDs enable improved plant growth with energy savingsGromeDome shown being used over plantsGroDome lights over plants

Funding to Replace Current LED Lighting in the GroDome

Tom Pitman

Supplementary lighting is essential for year-round production of plant material in the GroDome and greenhouses. Thanks to funding from BCAI, we have been able to replace all the lamps in the GroDome with white light LED’s, like those used in the Greenhouses. These 120w units will provide excellent lighting output for improved plant growth, whist achieving excellent energy savings compared to the previous 184w units.

Pollination in Nepal in a changing climate

Helen Harper

A new project studying the effect of climate change on pollinators has been funded. Three quarters of crop species rely on pollinators but the service they provide is under increasing threat from climate change. Loss of diversity and declining numbers of pollinators is predicted to compromise agricultural systems, and in turn, affect human health as key dietary micronutrients (such as vitamin A and folate) from insect pollinated crops are lost from diets. 

This interdisciplinary project is led by University of Bristol’s Professor Jane Memmott and  includes three Co-Investigators two medical researchers, Dr Samuel Myers and Dr Mathew Smith from Harvard University and a climate change specialist from the University of Helsinki, Professor Tomas Roslin.   Collaborators include health scientists from an NGO in Nepal, HERD Internationale (Dr Sushil Baral & Dr Chandani Kharel)along with collaborators from UCL (Dr Naomi Saville), the London School of Tropical Medicine (Dr Helen Harris-Fry) and the Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu (Dr Daya Ram Bhusal).   The Bristol based Post-Doctoral Researcher is Dr Tom Timberlake. 

The project is funded by The Belmont Forum with additional support from BCAI.


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