EMR awarded £482K apple replant disease project

Scientists at East Malling Research (EMR) have been awarded £482K to study ‘Apple Replant Disease (ARD) Evolution and Rootstock Interaction (ARDERI)’.

ApReplantple Replant Disease (ARD) is a serious threat affecting newly planted apple trees, which fail to thrive in areas where apples have previously grown. EMR is collaborating with industry partners to provide detailed information about the disease, which could be used to develop new management strategies and provide significant input into breeding programmes to benefit one of the UK’s major horticultural industries.

“ARD is a complex disease syndrome and, until recent advances in DNA sequencing technology, it has been practically impossible to develop effective control measures against it,” commented EMR’s Leader of Genetics and Crop Improvement, Professor Xiangming Xu. He continued, “With this new BBSRC, NERC and industry funding we will gain a greater understanding of the relationship between the causal agents, the rootstocks and the soil microbial populations. This new understanding will enable us to develop and implement effective control strategies for tomorrow’s fruit growers.”

This announcement is part of £4M being spent by BBSRC and NERC to fund six projects to benefit key crops. The funding is the second round of awards from the Horticulture and Potato Initiative (HAPI), which was developed by BBSRC together with NERC and the Scottish Government to support high quality, industrially relevant research projects on potato and edible horticulture crops. HAPI will help the horticulture and potato supply chains to enhance their competitiveness and resilience to climate change, increase plant resistance to disease and environmental change, and develop more efficient ways of farming.

This will lead to economic, social and environmental benefits, such as improved resilience to climate change and better food security.

ENDS

Press release issued by Ross Newham, Head of Communications ross.newham@emr.ac.uk

Further information can be found at: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2015/150601-n-4m-fund-important-food-crops/

 

 

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