Food security news
BBSRC has recently invested in six projects to be funded through the Newton Fund to combat one of the biggest threats to food security - agricultural losses due to pests and pathogens that are resistant to current treatments. Agricultural pests and pathogens on which current treatments have no effect are constantly emerging leaving farmers helpless to control for outbreaks.
UK rapeseed growers are losing up to a quarter of their crop yield each year because of temperature rises during an early-winter weather window. This figure emerged in new research by the John Innes Centre which identifies a critical period from late November to the Winter Solstice, December 21 or 22, where temperature has a strong link to yields.
Exploring how a hazardous fungal pathogen ‘tastes’ its surroundings within a wheat plant to coordinate virulence could be the key to developing new control strategies, scientists believe. Researchers at the University of Bath and Rothamsted Research have been examining how “fungal G-protein coupled receptors”, which are similar to taste receptors on our tongues, are involved in promoting Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) – a damaging and hazardous disease of wheat which is the number one floral disease in cereals globally.