Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

BBSRC, Scotland Provide $4.7M for Onion, Potato Genomics Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Government have funded two genomics-based projects under a new £3 million ($4.7 million) joint initiative that will focus on developing new ways to improve potato and onion crops.

The funding, which supported a total of four projects, was awarded under BBSRC's Horticulture and Potato Initiative, and the Scottish Government contributed £627,000 to support the efforts, the BBSRC said on Wednesday.

One research team, based at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, Scotland, will look into the process that causes potatoes and onions to sprout while they are in storage, with the aim of reducing losses. Hutton and its partners will receive a total of £1 million from the BBSRC and Scotland to fund the effort.

Led by Hutton Institute investigator Glenn Bryan, the research team will seek to identify the genetic basis of dormancy and sprouting in both crops and try to discover the physiological and molecular control steps involved in the process. Bryan's partners include Imperial College London, the University of Greenwich, Cranfield University, PepsiCo, and others.

Another group, led by the University of Warwick, was funded to use next-generation sequencing to study the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus that attacks a number of plants, including onions.

The BBSRC said this fungus leads to £11M in losses to UK farmers each year.

The investigators plan to use sequencing to study previously identified onion lines that have shown increased resistance to F. oxysporum, which hopefully will provide information, tools, and resources that can be used to develop better and more sustainable measures to control losses caused by the fungus.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.