Understanding and exploiting the diversity of form in Miscanthus

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: IBERS

Abstract

In order to tackle the problem of climate change, and address the challenge of atmospheric CO2 abatement, sustainable technologies must be developed and introduced. One of these technologies involves the use of energy crops to replace coal, oil and natural gas in direct combustion, gasification, biodiesel production, and fermentation to alcohols. The advantage of biomass over fossil fuels is that combustion releases only the carbon taken up during growth, and so the energy generated is carbon neutral. The UK government aims to generate 10% of energy from biomass by 2010 to help achieve it's obligations under the Kyoto Climate Change Agreement. Moreover biomass is the only renewable capable of providing liquid transport fuels and green chemicals and there is a UK target of 5% of transport fuels to be renewable by 2010. Miscanthus is a giant perennial grass with excellent characteristics for a biomass crop in Northern Europe as it combines rapid growth with tolerance to low temperatures. Once established, it requires minimal fertiliser input and has excellent disease resistance whilst producing a high yield of biomass annually. However a fundamental understanding of the growth and development in Miscanthus is lacking because it is a novel crop for Europe, and is now needed. Preliminary research has identified several plant characteristics of interest in relation to yield and quality of biomass. For example, plant size and shape are of paramount importance, in particular the relationship between stem diameter and height. These characteristics are already known to be readily measurable and under genetic control, and are therefore open to improvement by crop breeding. Biomass yield is directly correlated with plant height, and stem diameter is also an important character to prevent plants falling over. Currently, the most commonly planted energy crop is Miscanthus x giganteus, a naturally occurring hybrid between Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus. The two parent species display contrasting forms: Miscanthus sinensis is compact with numerous stems while Miscanthus sacchariflorus is tall with few stems. IGER has a unique collection of Miscanthus, the most comprehensive in Europe, which includes plants with very different forms that can be used to identify the genes responsible for characteristics such as stem height and thickness. Miscanthus takes three years to become fully established, so the use of DNA sequences to predict the mature plant characteristics would greatly speed up the breeding process to increase biomass yield. This project aims to develop suitable sequences and use them to understand what controls growth and form in Miscanthus, and hence assist the breeding programme.

Technical Summary

To identify the genes which control plant morphological characteristics in Miscanthus, a wide genetic cross will be used to generate a mapping family to allow identification of QTL associated with traits such as plant height and stem diameter. This trait map will be complemented by a genetic map based on publicly available SSR markers from closely related species and a small number of markers which are available for Miscanthus in order to associate genotype with phenotype. For example, genes identified as candidates for traits of interest will be mapped to test for association with QTL and the allelic variation present in the IGER collection of greater than 250 accessions will be studied. QTL regions to which no known genes associate will be sequenced by exploiting physical maps in related species and a Miscanthus BAC library. Alleles responsible for favourable phenotypes will be identified for use as molecular markers in marker assisted selection (MAS) at an early stage of plant development. The proposed research programme is to: 1. Screen the extensive Miscanthus germplasm collection at IGER to identify individuals divergent in morphological characteristics. 2. Generate a mapping family to identify QTL associated with stem height, diameter and number. 3. Create a genetic map using sugarcane, Sorghum and maize SSR markers especially targeted at the relevant regions of the genome. 4. Ascertain synteny in relevant regions of the genome between Miscanthus and rice and in the future Brachypodium, maize and Sorghum. 5. Identify morphology- associated candidate genes of interest and map them. 6. Clone and sequence genes of interest using a Miscanthus BAC library 7. Compare genes of interest in Miscanthus to related and model species to understand what makes a giant perennial grass develop the way it does. 8. Associate genotype with phenotype in a range of Miscanthus accessions and develop markers for alleles encoding favourable traits to be used in MAS.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
BB/E024319/1 01/07/2007 31/03/2008 £892,723
BB/E024319/2 Transfer BB/E024319/1 01/04/2008 30/04/2013 £802,582
 
Description Stem traits are key to optimising biomass production in Miscanthus, with increasing stem number representing one of the most promising strategies for increasing yield (Robson et al. (2013) Accelerating the domestication of a bioenergy crop: identifying and modelling morphological targets for sustainable yield increase in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Botany 64 (14): 4143-4155. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert225).

Major genomics resources have been developed for Miscanthus including genetic/association maps (e.g. Ma et al. (2012) High Resolution Genetic Mapping by Genome Sequencing Reveals Genome Duplication and Tetraploid Genetic Structure of the Diploid Miscanthus sinensis. PLoS ONE 7(3):e33821.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033821; Slavov et al. (2012), Contrasting geographic patterns of genetic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. GCB Bioenergy. doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12025; Slavov et al. (2013). Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. New Phytologist: DOI: 10.1111/nph.12621.), reference transcriptomes and genome sequence. The highly complex nature of the Miscanthus genome represents a major challenge to compiling these resources, but this is well underway, including as part of the international C4 bioenergy grass community.

Bacterial endophytes within plant hosts represent a hitherto understudied system with enormous potential for crop breeding and production (Farrar K et al. (2014) Understanding and engineering beneficial plant-microbe interactions: plant growth promotion in energy crops. Plant biotechnology journal 12 (9), 1193-1206; Cope-Selby et al. Endophytic bacteria in Miscanthus seed: implications for germination, vertical inheritance of endophytes, plant evolution and breeding. GCB Bioenergy 9.1 (2017): 57-77).
Exploitation Route The results of this project are contributing to the Miscanthus breeding programme and the international C4 energy grass community.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Environment

 
Description BBSRC iCASE Endophytic bacteria: co-existence and chemical warfare
Amount £95,042 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M01505X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2019
 
Description BBSRC-Newton Fund Call for Virtual Joint Centres with Brazil, China and India in Agricultural Nitrogen 'Understanding and exploiting biological nitrogen fixation for improvement of Brazilian agriculture'
Amount £209,428 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2018
 
Description Characterisation and exploitation of bacterial endophytes in C4 energy crops UK-Brazil partnering award
Amount £36 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/J020486/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2012 
End 10/2016
 
Description Development of improved perennial non-food biomass and bioproduct crops for water stressed environments (WATBIO)
Amount £535,659 (GBP)
Funding ID 35358 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2012 
End 10/2017
 
Description Energy Land Use Modelling (ELUM)
Amount £191,135 (GBP)
Funding ID ELUM 
Organisation Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2011 
End 05/2014
 
Description IBERS studentship 'Targeting extremophilic bacterial endosymbionts for plant growth promotion and phytoremediation applications'
Amount £54,000 (GBP)
Organisation Aberystwyth University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2018
 
Description Identification and characterisation of bacterial endophytes in miscanthus
Amount £74 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/G017484/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2013
 
Description Optimisation of Reed Canary Grass as a native European Energy Crop (ORNATE) ERANET
Amount £439,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/K021591/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 08/2016
 
Description Optimising Miscanthus Biomass production (OPTIMISC)
Amount £307,338 (GBP)
Funding ID 289159 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2011 
End 03/2016
 
Description Optimising and sustaining biomass yield ISPG
Amount £1,140,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BBS/E/W/10963A01B 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2017
 
Description Optimising biomass conversion on Miscanthus for bioenergy and industrial materials UK-Taiwan
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L003953/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 05/2015
 
Description Optimising biomass conversion on Miscanthus for bioenergy and industrial materials UK-Taiwan
Amount £25 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L003953/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 05/2015
 
Description iCASE Genomic regulation of tillering and stem nodal propagation in the energy crop Miscanthus
Amount £94 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/K012258/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 07/2018
 
Title Miscanthus endophytic bacteria collection 
Description Collection of bacterial strains isolated from Miscanthus tissues 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Published 2017. In use in on-going research. 
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12364/pdf
 
Description Characterisation and exploitation of bacterial endophytes in C4 energy crops 
Organisation University of Sao Paulo
Department Institute of Biomedical Sciences
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution BBSRC Brazil partnering award
Collaborator Contribution Laboratorio de Biologia Molecular de Plantas, UFRJ, coordinated by Dr. Paulo Ferreira and Dr. Adriana Hemerly. The laboratory has participated in graduation programs and postdoctoral collaborating with researchers from UFRJ and other institutions. The major research topic is to understand mechanisms controlling plant development. Dr Hemerly studies regulatory networks controlling cell division and how they are modulated by environmental signals (drought stress and biotic interactions). One research line investigates signalling pathways involved in the promotion of plant growth by the association with beneficial endophytic diazotrophic bacteria. Finally, the work aims to unify the knowledge produced and direct it to generate to generate biotechnological tools to increase crop productivity. Dr Ferreira has experience in Genetics, with emphasis on molecular genetics of plants, mainly in the following areas: control of cell division, epigenetic regulation of environmental interaction of plants, plant genomics and microorganisms, and the study of the genetic structure of populations of species native plants. We have exchanged methodology and discussed experimental design and are preparing a review for publication. We plan to exchange data in the coming months for a joint publication.
Impact October 2014. Kerrie Farrar and David Bryant visited Adriana Hemerly and Paulo Ferreira at UFRJ where they gave a departmental talk and finalised a joint Newton Fund proposal. June 1015. A workshop in Aberystwyth was attended by Brazilian researchers from UFRJ and EMBRAPA Biologia, plus additional partners from James Hutton Institute and Lancaster University in the UK and Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminese (UENF) in Brazil. Partners have exchanged expertise, specifically methodology and knowledge of the two crop systems, and molecular, culturing and physiological methodology applicable to bacterial endophyte research. It seems there is not much similarity in the diversity of bacterial endophytes in tropical sugarcane and temperate Miscanthus in terms of species present, however there may be more functional similarities, e.g. plant growth promotion and/or biological nitrogen fixation, and this is under further investigation in subsequent projects. This partnership has been instrumental in establishing a strong collaboration and building a wider network, e.g. we were successful in securing a Newton Fund award '14CONFAP Comparative genomic and physiological analysis of C4 plant-microbe symbiosis' and more recently the BBSRC-CONFAP Virtual Joint Centre 'UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre'.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Differential expression of parental alleles in the progeny of an interspecific cross in the energy crop Miscanthus 
Organisation Earlham Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The project aims to build a reference transcriptome for 2 Miscanthus genotypes by cDNA sequencing on 454. Variation in progeny will subsequently be analysed using deep Illumina / SOLiD transcript sequencing.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Miscanthus genome 
Organisation Earlham Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Miscanthus sacchariflorus genome sequence, Miscanthus RNAseq data
Collaborator Contribution Miscanthus sinensis genome sequence (https://phytozome.jgi.doe.gov/pz/portal.html#!info?alias=Org_Msinensis_er), Miscanthus RNAseq data, Miscanthus molecular markers
Impact Publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description Miscanthus genome 
Organisation HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
PI Contribution Miscanthus sacchariflorus genome sequence, Miscanthus RNAseq data
Collaborator Contribution Miscanthus sinensis genome sequence (https://phytozome.jgi.doe.gov/pz/portal.html#!info?alias=Org_Msinensis_er), Miscanthus RNAseq data, Miscanthus molecular markers
Impact Publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description Miscanthus genome 
Organisation Teagasc
PI Contribution Miscanthus sacchariflorus genome sequence, Miscanthus RNAseq data
Collaborator Contribution Miscanthus sinensis genome sequence (https://phytozome.jgi.doe.gov/pz/portal.html#!info?alias=Org_Msinensis_er), Miscanthus RNAseq data, Miscanthus molecular markers
Impact Publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description Miscanthus genome 
Organisation U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Miscanthus sacchariflorus genome sequence, Miscanthus RNAseq data
Collaborator Contribution Miscanthus sinensis genome sequence (https://phytozome.jgi.doe.gov/pz/portal.html#!info?alias=Org_Msinensis_er), Miscanthus RNAseq data, Miscanthus molecular markers
Impact Publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description Miscanthus genome 
Organisation University of California, Berkeley
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Miscanthus sacchariflorus genome sequence, Miscanthus RNAseq data
Collaborator Contribution Miscanthus sinensis genome sequence (https://phytozome.jgi.doe.gov/pz/portal.html#!info?alias=Org_Msinensis_er), Miscanthus RNAseq data, Miscanthus molecular markers
Impact Publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description Miscanthus genome 
Organisation University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Miscanthus sacchariflorus genome sequence, Miscanthus RNAseq data
Collaborator Contribution Miscanthus sinensis genome sequence (https://phytozome.jgi.doe.gov/pz/portal.html#!info?alias=Org_Msinensis_er), Miscanthus RNAseq data, Miscanthus molecular markers
Impact Publication in preparation
Start Year 2014
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
Department Embrapa Agrobiologia
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation Federal Institute of Rio Grande do Sul
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation Federal University of Paraná
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation James Hutton Institute
Department Ecological Sciences
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation John Innes Centre
Department Molecular Microbiology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation State University of the North of Parana
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP VJC Nitrogen) 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Plant Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution WP2.2 Isolate and characterize epiphytic and endophytic bacteria from C4 plants and select the most efficient strains in terms of plant growth promotion WP2.3 Molecular tagging to visualise colonisation and localisation in planta WP2.4 Phenomics analysis of plant growth in response to inoculation under limited nitrogen and/or water WP3 Identify genetic components required for efficient crop-microbe interactions
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Strategies for engineering ammonium excretion in diazotrophic endophytes WP2.1 Devise selection strategies to isolate efficient endophytes using serial inoculation WP2.5 Quantitate nitrogen fixation using 15N WP4. Evaluate the effectiveness of inoculants in field trials
Impact UK-Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre (BBSRC-CONFAP). We are a virtual joint centre working to develop innovative technologies to increase crop productivity in Brazil using nitrogen-fixing bacteria as a sustainable source of fixed nitrogen. In turn this will reduce the input of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of reactive nitrogen pollution.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Aberystwyth University Access All Areas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Products from plants - display including posters and products made of plant materials, and an activity for children making plastic from cornflour
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
URL http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/events/access-all-areas/
 
Description Segment on BBC news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed for Welsh language news segment. Recently for a section on women in science, previously for a segment about renewable energy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p03fd8qc/newyddion-9-s4c-pennod-19