Engineering wheat for take-all resistance

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Metabolic Biology

Abstract

Wheat is one of the most important food items for humans and animals around the world. In the UK, wheat is sown on over 1.8 million hectares with a production value of ~£1.7 billion. Although significant increases in yield have been achieved during the last half century, the current and future demands for wheat and other cereals will require accelerated increases in productivity. This emerges as a grand challenge for society as we seek to produce enough food for a growing global population (with changing dietary preferences) in a sustainable manner.

Take-all disease, caused by the soil fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (Ggt), is the most damaging root disease of wheat worldwide. The introduction of genes for take-all resistance into cultivated wheat has been identified as a top priority by the UK plant breeding industry and by HGCA on behalf of arable farmers (see accompanying letters from a consortium of UK plant breeders and from HGCA). At least half of UK wheat crops are affected by the disease, with average yield losses of 5-20% and complete failure under severe take-all conditions. Conservative estimates of the cost of take-all associated yield losses in the UK range from £85 m to £340 m per annum. Disease severity increases with successive wheat cropping, therefore growth of second and third wheat crops in the same fields can become commercially unviable. This problem will be exacerbated as the need for food production increases and cropping systems becomes even more intensive. Thus take-all disease represents a major threat to UK and world food security and there is an urgent need for simple, economic and sustainable strategies for disease control. Current control methods rely on crop rotation, biological control and fungicides, none of which are effective in preventing the yield losses indicated above.

The most effective way to achieve simple, economic and sustainable control of take-all disease is through genetic resistance. Resistance to t-all would represent a step-change in wheat productivity, ensuring food security and enhanced industry competitiveness. It would also expand the ability to grow wheat in successive cropping seasons and increase its geographic distribution, and reduce chemical and fertiliser inputs. Unfortunately, there is no known major varietal resistance to take-all in cultivated wheat lines and hence the disease has so far proved to be intractable to breeders. In contrast, oats have extreme resistance to take-all and produce an antimicrobial triterpene glycoside (avenacin A-1) that provides protection against the disease. Wheat and other cereals do not make avenacin A-1 or appear to make other triterpene glycosides. We have cloned and characterised most of the genes for avenacin synthesis from oat. These genes are currently the only characterized source of genetic resistance to take-all from any cereal or grass species. Oat is too far removed from wheat to allow introduction of the genes for avenacin synthesis through conventional crossing or alien introgression, making genetic transformation the only viable option for introduction of these genes into wheat. The aim of this proposal is to engineer wheat to produce a suite of protective triterpenes that confer resistance to take-all disease. To do this we have assembled a customised toolkit for triterpene metabolic engineering using characterised genes and enzymes from oat and from dicot plant species.

Technical Summary

Take-all disease has a substantial impact on wheat yield throughout the cereal-growing areas of the world and is a major threat to food security. The cost of this fungal disease to wheat production in the UK is estimated at £85-340m per annum. Take-all is a ubiquitous and chronic problem that that imposes serious limitations on wheat production as roughly half of UK wheat crops are affected. Introduction of genes through conventional breeding strategies relies on the identification of resistances through screening, and subsequent crossing into elite varieties, and is the approach taken in the wheat pre-breeding LoLa (BB/J004596/1). Our proposal takes a complementary approach that involves the direct introduction of cloned genes for take-all resistance into wheat through genetic modification (GM) which has the potential for more rapid delivery of useful genes into elite wheat varieties.

We have assembled a customised toolkit for triterpene metabolic engineering in plants consisting of characterised genes and enzymes from oat and other plant species. Our aim is to engineer single and multiple steps for triterpene synthesis into hexaploid wheat and evaluate the consequences of this for triterpene production, plant performance and take-all resistance. The development of methods for high-efficiency transformation of wheat with multiple genes within this proposal will lay the foundation for introduction of other valuable multi-gene traits/processes (e.g. nitrogen fixation, C4 photosynthesis, polygenic pest/pathogen resistance, seed micronutrient content) into wheat in the future.

The key deliverables and outcomes of this research programme will be:
1. Evaluation of a transgenic approach to engineer wheat for the synthesis of protective triterpenes;
2. Establish a multi-gene wheat transformation platform;
3. Provide industry with a potential solution to take-all disease;
4. Training of project scientists in cross-disciplinary and applied crop research

Planned Impact

The most important impact of this research will be the evaluation of a metabolic engineering strategy for control of take-all disease of wheat. This has the potential to provide the plant breeding industry with a strategy for disease control that will complement longer-term strategies currently being initiated within the wheat pre-breeding LoLa. There are many environmental and economic costs associated with take-all that have a detrimental effect on the overall competitiveness and sustainability of the UK arable industry. Introduction of take-all resistance into cultivated wheat will have a profound impact on reducing these negative externalities across the production sector.

We expect there to be a number of different beneficiaries of the proposed work. These will include the private sector in the form of wheat farmers and breeding companies, the UK environment, policy makers, and the wider public in general. Many of the expected benefits will be shared between groups and we have outlined some of these below:

- Increased yields: At least half of UK wheat crops are affected by take-all, with average yield losses between 5-20% and complete failure of the crop under severe take-all conditions. The average UK wheat production value is ~£1.7 b. Therefore the minimum cost of take-all to the UK arable industry is between £85m - 340m per annum. The availability of take-all resistant wheat would significantly reduce this loss and provide increased flexibility to farmers.
- Testing the potential of GM approaches: This work will test the potential of a GM approach to take-all control. The multi-gene wheat transformation platform established within this programme will provide cutting-edge enabling technology for academic researchers and industry for future wheat improvement for disease resistance and other important traits/processes (e.g. nitrogen fixation).
- More efficient use of nitrogen fertilization: Take-all disease leads to reduced uptake of nitrogen by the roo. Not only is this inefficient and costly but the remaining nitrogen leaches into farmland water courses, so contributing to pollution and eutrophication. Improving resistance to take-all would therefore have both direct financial benefits (reduced nitrogen requirements of second and third wheat crops) and indirect consequences of improving nitrate utilisation, reducing wastage and increasing overall competitiveness of UK wheat growers.
- More efficient land use: Improved take-all resistance will result in increased yields in second and third wheat situations, enabling more wheat to be produced from the same amount of land. This will help in the sustainable intensification of UK agriculture, increasing the efficiency of land use and providing farmers with enhanced flexibility in their farm management practices.
- Training the next generation of crop scientists: This proposal brings together a unique combination of disciplines that will provide an exciting training ground for the project scientists involved. The resulting innovation and training will provide the next generation of skilled crop scientist, with benefits beyond the plant breeding industry, and boosting the UK economy.

Publications

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Geisler K (2013) Biochemical analysis of a multifunctional cytochrome P450 (CYP51) enzyme required for synthesis of antimicrobial triterpenes in plants. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Medema MH (2015) Minimum Information about a Biosynthetic Gene cluster. in Nature chemical biology

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Moses T (2014) Metabolic and functional diversity of saponins, biosynthetic intermediates and semi-synthetic derivatives. in Critical reviews in biochemistry and molecular biology

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Nützmann HW (2018) Metabolic Gene Clusters in Eukaryotes. in Annual review of genetics

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Owatworakit A (2013) Glycosyltransferases from oat (Avena) implicated in the acylation of avenacins. in The Journal of biological chemistry

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Salmon M (2016) A conserved amino acid residue critical for product and substrate specificity in plant triterpene synthases. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

 
Title Glowing oat seedlings 
Description Young oat seedling roots glow under UV due to the accumulation of the antimicrobial triterpene avenacins. Oats naturally produce avenacins exclusively within the root tip epidermal cells, which protects them from soil pathogens. Image supplied by researchers in the Osbourn laboratory at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Image placed on the Norwich Research Park image library, for free sharing and dissemination. 
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/imagedetails.aspx?imgid=229
 
Title Image of Nicotiana benthamiana 
Description Nicotiana benthamiana, a relative of the tobacco plant, is commonly used in plant research. Here, the leaf is used as a host organism to produce components of avenacin, a fluorescent antimicrobial produced by oat roots, which protects the roots from soil pathogens. A cluster of genes - the Sad genes - have been identified in oat as the instructions used to produce avenacin. The blue spots indicate the presence of parts of the avenacin compound introduced by inserting some of the Sad genes into the host plant. The other spots are controls to test the expression system. Image supplied by Aymeric Leveau, Osbourn laboratory. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Image placed on the Norwich Research Park Image Library, for free sharing and dissemination. 
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/imagedetails.aspx?imgid=103
 
Description A toolkit for terpene engineering of plants for food, health and industrial biotechnology applications has been established. Rapid methods for making multi-gene constructs have been developed and a number of these constructs have been validated both through transient expression in plant leaves and through generation of stably transformed lines of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We have also contributed to the development and publication of an article proposing a common syntax for plant synthetic biology that will enable interchangeability of parts.

Introduction of from 1-11 genes for triterpene synthesis into wheat has been successfully accomplished in collaboration with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge. Wheat lines engineered to produce simple and oxygenated triterpene scaffolds have been generated. Wheat lines transformed with three genes required for the synthesis and addition of an acyl group to the triterpene scaffold (a step that is important for antimicrobial activity) have been produced and shown to make the expected product. Constructs containing all 11 pathway genes have been generated and introduced into both wheat and barley. These lines are now being characterised.

Enzymes for two missing steps for the biosynthesis of the antimicrobial avenacin triterpene have been elucidated and the entire 11-step pathway has been expressed in tobacco by transient plant expression. The avenacin end-product was detected, demonstrating the feasibility of complete pathway assembly in a heterologous plant species. Papers on the last two steps in the avenacin pathway have been published. A patent has also been filed on enzymes that glycosylate triterpenoid scaffolds.

A promoter set from an oat metabolic gene cluster has been generated and tested in both monocot and dicot species. Importantly within this project we have shown that these root-expressed promoters from oat retain their characteristic expression pattern (in the outer cell layer of the root tips) when introduced into wheat. This discovery has considerable potential value for plant engineering for production of metabolites and for other traits such as nitrogen fixation, since sets of co-regulated promoters for driving the expression of multiple genes in plants are in short supply.

An engagement activity has been carried out in a local school on the theme of genetic strategies for control of take-all disease in wheat. The postdoctoral researcher on this grant also secured funding from the OpenPlant fund for a small-scale project on engineering liverwort for the production of high value triterpenes with collaborators at the University of Cambridge.

A manuscript on the genome sequence of diploid oat and the evolutionary origin of the avenacin gene cluster has been prepared and will be submitted soon.
Exploitation Route The root-expressed promoter set that we have generated has been made available to academic groups and industry around the world for use in crop and model plant species. The successful engineering of an 11-step triterpene pathway in tobacco demonstrates the feasibility of assembling complex pathways of this kind in a heterologous plant species and opens up opportunities for using the transient tobacco expression system for advanced triterpene engineering. This is very timely, given the recent establishment of the Leaf Systems translational facility for transient plant expression on the Norwich Research Park.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/directory/anne-osbourn/
 
Description Rapid methods for making multi-gene constructs for plant metabolic engineering have been established and these constructs have been validated both through transient expression in plant leaves and through generation of stably transformed lines of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. A promoter set enabling co-ordinate cell type specific expression of genes in root meristem cells has been shown to function across both monocot and dicot species and so has considerable value for plant engineering for production of metabolites and for other traits such as nitrogen fixation. Importantly we have shown that these promoters are active in wheat. These promoters have been made available to academic groups and industry around the world for use in a variety of crop and model plant species. The demonstration of assembly of an 11-step triterpene pathway for the biosynthesis of the antifungal compound avenacin A-1 from oat in tobacco using transient expression opens up opportunities for advanced triterpene engineering for the production of high value compounds for medical, agricultural and industrial biotechnology applications. Introduction of single and multiple genes for triterpene synthesis into wheat has now been completed through our collaborators at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge. We have successfully generated transgenic wheat lines producing simple and oxygenated triterpene scaffolds, and also the activated acyl sugar donor required for further elaboration, Constructs containing the full set of pathway genes have also been introduced and the lines are now being characterised. An engagement activity was carried out in a local school on the theme of genetic strategies for control of take-all disease in wheat (Barford Primary School, March 11th 2014). This activity was a Science, Art and Writing (SAW) project (www.sawtrust.org). The project is being written up for publication as a case study. The conversations with the children (who were age 9-10) on this GM-based project were quite profound and are highlighted below: Child 1; " why can't you use bees to move DNA from one plant to another - so like the DNA from oat to wheat"? Scientist; " well, bees do pollinate flowers and transfer DNA that way but only between species of plants that can be bred. Oat and wheat cannot be bred like that so we have to use other ways to put oat DNA into wheat" Child 2; "but what if the bees can move the DNA but you don't want them to? Then all plants will have the DNA that scientists have introduced?.." Scientist; "We can make the plants sterile so that they cannot pass on their DNA into new seeds, this is one way to control what we do" Child 2; " But then the farmers can't collect seeds to plant the next year? I don't think the farmers would want to keep buying seeds!" Scientist; " Yes, but actually it is better to buy seeds that almost guarantee you will have healthy plants to sell that to lose crops to disease and have nothing to sell"
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description Group members attending first regional cross-sectoral ABS workshop (Implementing the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing in the UK) at the John Innes Centre, 22.11.16
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Increased knowledge of implementation of Nagoya Protocol
 
Title Establishment of a common syntax for plant synthetic biology 
Description Inventors in the field of mechanical and electronic engineering can access multitudes of components and, thanks to standardization, parts from different manufacturers can be used in combination with each other. The introduction of BioBrick standards for the assembly of characterized DNA sequences was a landmark in microbial engineering, shaping the field of synthetic biology. Here, we describe a standard for Type IIS restriction endonucleasemediated assembly, defining a common syntax of 12 fusion sites to enable the facile assembly of eukaryotic transcriptional units. This standard has been developed and agreed by representatives and leaders of the international plant science and synthetic biology communities, including inventors, developers and adopters of Type IIS cloning methods. Our vision is of an extensive catalogue of standardized, characterized DNA parts that will accelerate plant bioengineering. To this end we have proposed a common syntax for exchange of DNA parts for plant synthetic biology. This is supported by the international community and has been published. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The establishment of a common plant syntax has paved the way for the introduction of an Open MTA for material transfer, now trialled and published (Kahl et al. 2018, Nature Biotechnology 36: 923), simple and open systems for recusrsive fabrication of DNA circuits (Pollak et al. 2018, New Phytologist: https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15625) and for discussions with Addgene, the nonprofit global plasmid repository, archives and distributes plasmids for scientists. These advances are catalytic and we envisage that they will promote and accelerate plant biology research within the UK and internationally. 
 
Title Establishment of a reverse genetics TILLING platform for diploid oat 
Description We have established a TILLING platform for diploid oat (Avena strigosa accession S75) using a sodium azide-generated mutant population that we have generated. The platform has been made available to the international research community through the RevGen platform at the John Innes Centre 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This platform will enable identification of mutants in target genes for scientific research and crop improvement. 
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/research-impact/technology-platforms/genomic-services/reverse-genetics/
 
Title Speed breeding for crop breeding and model plant research 
Description To meet the challenge of feeding a growing population, breeders and scientists are continuously looking for ways to increase genetic gain in crop breeding. One way this can be achieved is through 'speed breeding' (SB), which shortens the breeding cycle and accelerates research studies through rapid generation advancement. The SB method can be carried out in a number of ways, one of which involves extending the duration of a plant's daily exposure to light (photoperiod) combined with early seed harvest in order to cycle quickly from seed to seed, thereby reducing the generation times for some long-day (LD) or day-neutral crops. We have developed glasshouse and growth chamber-based SB protocols with supporting data from experimentation with several crop species. These protocols describe the growing conditions, including soil media composition, lighting, temperature and spacing, which promote rapid growth of spring and winter bread wheat, durum wheat, barley, oat, various members of the Brassica family, chickpea, pea, grasspea, quinoa and the model grass Brachypodium distachyon. Points of flexibility within the protocols are highlighted, including how plant density can be increased to efficiently scale-up plant numbers for single seed descent (SSD) purposes. Conversely, instructions on how to perform SB on a small-scale by creating a benchtop SB growth cabinet that enables optimization of parameters at a low cost are provided. We also outline the procedure for harvesting and germinating premature wheat, barley and pea seed to reduce generation time. Finally, we provide troubleshooting suggestions to avoid potential pitfalls. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This methodology opens up opportunities to accelerate and revolutionise crop improvement programmes and the field of plant biology research more broadly. 
URL https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-017-0083-8
 
Title Transient plant expression technology for triterpene production at preparative scale 
Description We have develop a method for transient heterologous expression of biosynthetic enzymes in N. benthamiana for production of high-value triterpenes. Agro-infiltration is an efficient and simple means of achieving transient expression in N. benthamiana. The process involves infiltration of plant leaves with a suspension of Agrobacterium tumefaciens carrying the expression construct(s) of interest. Co-infiltration of an additional A. tumefaciens strain carrying an expression construct encoding an enzyme that boosts precursor supply significantly increases yields. After a period of five days, the infiltrated leaf material can be harvested and processed to extract and isolate the resulting triterpene product(s). This is a process that is linearly and reliably scalable, simply by increasing the number of plants used in the experiment. We have developed a protocol for rapid preparative-scale production of triterpenes utilizing this plant-based platform. The protocol utilizes an easily replicable vacuum infiltration apparatus, which allows the simultaneous infiltration of up to four plants, enabling batch-wise infiltration of hundreds of plants in a short period of time. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Generation of gram-scale quantities of 98% pure triterpenes and demonstration that we can rapidly carry out combinatorial expression of enzymes from our triterpene toolkit to generate known and new-to-nature compounds. This had attracted considerable interest from industry and led to four new projects directly funded by different companies in the pharma, ag, food and drink and home and personal care sectors. 
URL https://www.jove.com/video/58169/transient-expression-nicotiana-benthamiana-leaves-for-triterpene
 
Title Scaffold modification 
Description he present invention relates generally to methods and materials for use in glycosylation of chemical scaffolds, such as triterpenes. 
IP Reference GB1808617.3 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact This patent is pivotal to the pending establishment of a spin-out company
 
Description Cambridge Centre for Crop Science (3CS) demonstration at SLUC 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM, and the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.niab.com/pages/id/427/Cambridge_Centre_of_Crop_Science_-_3CS
 
Description 2015 NIAB Directors Day posters and GM materials display talk on Crop Transformation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM, new technologies, and the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BBSRC Taiwan partnering award meeting 23-24 March, 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact BBSRC Taiwan partnering award meeting 23-24 March, 2015. I gave a 20 min presentation on metabolic pathway engineering in the Osbourn group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Bill & Melinda Gates Grand Challenges mtg 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Emma Wallington attended the Bill & Melinda Gates Grand Challenges held in London. Had the opportunity to discuss our crop transformation research with a very wide range or participants during the workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Built new image library for the Norwich Research Park 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact To help raise awareness of the high quality research carried out across the Norwich Research Park, we developed an open access image library to showcase images of NRP science accompanied by accessible legends suitable for a general audience. The image library has the potential to attract new traffic to the NRP institute websites and research group homepages and will allow groups such as the media, schools, the general public and other researchers to gain a glimpse of the great depth and diversity of research that is being carried out in Norwich. Although all the images are freely available to download and use, people are required to sign up to use the library and are asked to enter information at the time of download about their intended use of the image. This helps to capture who is using the library and where the images are being used. So far images have been downloaded 582 times and have been used in presentations, publications, on websites, for education and advertising. We ran an image competition to raise awareness across the NRP site and then assembled a judging panel to select the top 12 images which were used to create an NRP calendar for 2016. The calendar was sent to politicians, business leaders, industry and academics at institutions in the UK and internationally. The competition featured in the local paper, the Eastern Daily Press and an overall winner was picked and used to make a large canvas which is hanging in the new Centrum building. We have received many positive comments about the libraries ease of use for finding good quality, copyright free images to use in presentations from fellow researchers across the site. In October 2016 we put on a two-week, large scale image exhibition at the Forum in Norwich as part of the first Norwich Science Festival. The images attracted a lot of interest and several artists have been in touch with scientists whose research images were on display to set up new collaborations using science to inform artistic practice. We will post outcomes of these endeavours onto the image library website to widen our exposure to new audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/
 
Description Cambridge Science festival, March 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Encoraged young acedemics to consider agriculture and plant science research

Interest in science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cambridge University DTP student cohort visit 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Overview of crop transformation projects at NIAB. Discussion with visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM, plus our implementation of new technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cereal engineering workshop, Dunstan Hall, Norwich UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 20 minute talk at the cereal engineering workshop Held in the Dunston Hall near Norwich on the 27th and 28th or May 2014.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://synthsym.org/meetings-conferences/
 
Description Cereal engineering workshop: 3 min talk and participation to the debate on synthetic biology technics applied for cereal engineering. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cereal engineering workshop: 3 min talk and participation to the debate on synthetic biology technics applied for cereal engineering. Held at MIT in Boston on the 8th and 9th of June 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Chief Scientific Adviser & Chief Plant Health Officer visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Emma Wallington gave an overview of our GM projects with wheat, rice and OSR transformation. Particular focus on disease resistance targets within the Community Resource for Wheat Transformation and the Engineering Resistance to Takeall projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Demonstration on GM for Sainsbury produce managers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description ENSA workshop on Cereal Engineering, Norwich. EW invited presentation on CRWT and Takeall projects 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Discussion of challenges in the CRWT and Takeall projects, in common with other genome engineering projects in the UK

Interest in the NIAB Crop transformation platform from participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description EW Interview broadcast on Cambridge TV (new Ofcom-licensed channel for Cambridge). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Film for broadcast on Cambridge TV (new Ofcom-licensed channel for Cambridge).
EW described how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM. Claviceps (ergot) resistance project also demonstrated in NIAB Innovation Farm.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.cambridge-tv.co.uk/gm-foods/
 
Description Exhibit at Cereals 2017, Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Exhibit on the NIAB stand with demonstrations of wheat tissue culture and the effect of takeall fungus infection on wheat roots, plus preliminary project results. This provided an excellent visual demonstration of a project which uses genetic modification to tackle a disease in wheat for which there is no resistance which can be bred in traditionally. Visitors to the stand were very interested to see the impact of the fungus on roots and to discuss the strategy and progress made in the project with the NIAB staff involved. Whilst this is primarily a national event, there were also a good number of international visitors (wheat breeders and scientists) who were interested and engaged with us over the two day event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Fascination of Plants Day 2013: GM wheat - How and Why 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Non-inoculated tissue culture demonstration of wheat transformation and regeneration for the general public as part of the Fascination of Plants Day held at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden. We focussed on the Takeall project as an example of how a disease resistance mechanism from oats might be transferred to wheat by GM technology.

Many conversations with interested A-level/undergraduate students and members of the general public
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Festival of Plants at Cambridge Botanic Garden on the 16th of May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helped Jenni Rant to hold a stand describing the scientific research ongoing at JIC, at the Festival of Plants at Cambridge Botanic Garden on the 16th of May 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/Event.aspx?p=27&ix=597&pid=2718&prcid=0&ppid=2718&edit=n
 
Description Great British Bioscience Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We were successful in a winning a BBSRC science communication award to develop a new science stand called 'Nature's Factories' to run at local events and as part of the BBSRC's Great British Bioscience Festival showcasing the best of British bioscience in its 20th anniversary year.
Human evolution is tightly linked to our use of plants for food, building materials, fuel, medicines etc., and we continue to look for innovative ways to use natural resources to provide us with sustainable solutions that support our lifestyles. Scientific research is enabling us to discover and develop new plant products that improve our lifestyles by creating better medicines, healthier foods and greener technologies whilst also demonstrating the importance of protecting plant species diversity and ecosystems.
The Nature's Factories stand was designed to enable the public to find out how science is exploring and exploiting the valuable variety of chemicals made by plants as well as making natural remedies to take away and pick leaves from our fact-tree.

We took the stand to the Science in Norwich Day at the Forum in Norwich (1st June 2014), to the Cambridge Botanic Gardens (19th August 2014) and on the 12th November 2014 used the stand for a training workshop for EU scientists to learn how to create interactive displays for public events. On 14-16 November 2014, our exhibit headed to Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London to be showcased at BBSRC's Great British Bioscience Festival. The festival, delivered in partnership with London Science Festival was open to the general public and free to attend.
Since then the exhibit has featured at the Bury St Edmunds family science festival (21st March 2015), the Fascination of Plants day at the John Innes Centre (14th May 2015), the Festival of Plants at Cambridge Botanic Gardens (16th May 2015) and at the Youth Stem Awards (13th January 2016). We plan to use the exhibit throughout 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/engagement/exhibitions/gb-bioscience-festival/
 
Description High Value Chemicals from Plants- Harnessing the potential of synthetic biology for industrial biotechnology. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact High Value Chemicals from Plants- Harnessing the potential of synthetic biology for industrial biotechnology. 13-14 July 2015, Dunston Hall, Norwich. I delivered a 20min talk about the use of the HyperTrans system in goldengate vectors and its benefits for metabolic engineering.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Indian Female Leaders in Crop and Ag Science workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Emma Wallington gave a presentation of our GM projects with wheat, rice and OSR plus new developments in the technology such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, and examples of how we are using this technology in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Innovative Plant Science, Future farming event held at the House of Lords, Westminster. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Overview of our GM projects with wheat, rice and OSR plus new developments in the technology. Wheat project focus on Community Resource for Wheat Transformation and Takeall projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interview for Sense about Science case study on engineering wheat for takeall resistance 
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 Not known if the case study was taken forward by the sense about Science team

none at this point
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Latitude Festival OpenPlant Exhibit, 14-17.07.16 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Latitude Festival

Led by Jenni Rant from the SAW Trust, Michael Stephenson, Colette Matthewman, Marc Jones and Dorota Jakubczyk (JIC) worked with Paolo Bombelli, Katrin Geisler (Cambridge University), Brenda Parker (UCL) and Marin Sawa (Imperial) to deliver a 3-day OpenPlant exhibit entitled "The Power of Plants" in the wildlife, weird science and adventure area at the Latitude Festival, Suffolk, from 14-17 July 2016. The exhibit showcased the potential applications of synthetic biology in plants in a hands-on and accessible way. The first day was dedicated to hosting organised school groups where children spent 40 minutes with us experimenting with a variety of plants to learn how scientists are using them in new and novel ways. The second and third day were run as a drop-in style to cater for family groups giving opportunities to engage with children and adults. Visitors were very interested to see science research straight from the labs and amazed by new innovations being developed through synthetic biology. The event was very tiring but the opportunity to work as a team with members from different institutes on a shared science theme was very enjoyable and rewarding whilst also expanding our understanding of each others work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.latitudefestival.com/stage/wildlife-weird-science-adventure
 
Description NIAB Directors Day -GM materials and posters display 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Visitors were very interested in the presentations and materials displayed and discussed the both the ongoing projects and public perception of GM

Better understanding of the projects using GM technology at NIAB
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description NIAB Directors Day display 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Exhibit in the NIAB marquee covering a number of BBSRC funded projects using crop transformation. Demonstrations of wheat tissue culture and the effect of takeall fungus infection on wheat roots provided an excellent visual demonstration of a project which uses genetic modification to tackle a disease in wheat for which there is no resistance which can be bred in traditionally. Other exhibits demonstrated our implementation of gene editing techniques and its use in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NIAB Directors Day displays 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Practical demonstrations of crop tissue culture plus an overview of our GM projects focused on wheat, rice and OSR. We also included explanations of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, and examples of how we are using this in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description NIAB Open Day 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Practical demonstrations of crop tissue culture plus an overview of our GM projects focused on wheat, rice and OSR. We also included explanations of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, and examples of how we are using this in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description NIAB Open Day display 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Exhibit in the NIAB marquee covering a number of BBSRC funded projects using crop transformation. Demonstrations of wheat tissue culture and the effect of takeall fungus infection on wheat roots provided an excellent visual demonstration of a project which uses genetic modification to tackle a disease in wheat for which there is no resistance which can be bred in traditionally. Other exhibits demonstrated our implementation of gene editing techniques and its use in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NIAB Open day Science morning (2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM, new technologies, and the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description NIAB Open day and Science seminars (2014) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar on current NIAB Crop Transformation group projects followed by a practical demonstration of crop transformation and tissue culture. Discussion with visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM. There was a lot of interest from the visitors in the demonstrations and discussion with the Crop Transformation team members.

Level of general interest was high
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description NIAB Poster Day 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Practical demonstration of tissue culture using a number of contrasting crop species plus an overview of crop transformation projects at NIAB. Discussion with wider NIAB staff and visitors on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM, plus our implementation of new technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in a number of wheat and rice projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NRP DTP Summer Conference 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact NRP DTP Summer Conference 2015 held in the assembly house in Norwich. 15 min talk: Pathway engineering using the GoldenGate MoClo system.

Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Partnerships
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/
 
Description National Institutes of Biosciences (NIB) Meeting on the 15th and 16th of June 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National Institutes of Biosciences (NIB) Meeting on the 15th and 16th of June 2015. Presented a poster.
This unique multidisciplinary 2-day meeting brings together leading scientists from the 8 institutes that comprise the National Institutes of Bioscience (NIB): The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), The Roslin Institute, The Pirbright Institute, John Innes Centre (JIC), the Institute of Food Research (IFR), Rothamsted Research, the Babraham Institute and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), as well as from other renowned National and International research organisations, to discuss how bioscience research is addressing global challenges affecting plant, animal and human health.

There will be opportunities to find out more about the Institutes' National Capabilities and Strategic programmes, contribute to shape the UK's bioscience research priorities and establish new multidisciplinary collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Norwich Science Festival John Innes Centre Exhibit 22.10.16 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Norwich Science Festival.

The interactive 'Power of Plants' stand from the Latitude Festival made another appearance at the first Norwich Science Festival with Katrin Geisler coming over from Cambridge University to join JIC scientists Michael Stephenson, Hannah Griffiths, Colette Matthewman, Zhenhua Liu, Nadiatul Radzman, Dorota Jakubczyk, Don Nguyen, Miriam Walden, Jenni Rant and Roger Castells-Graells for two days as part of the Norwich Research Park's 'solving problems with science' weekend. A new addition to the stand was developed by Roger who introduced visitors to the structure of viruses through his challenge to build a giant virus particle. Plants are being used to produce virus particles for use as vaccines and so for visitors this deeper look at viruses in combination with a hands-on experience of mock infiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana plants with water enabled the scientists to explain the techniques involved and exactly what is being made by plants in this system. People were very interested in the variety of science on display and asked lots of questions. It was good to showcase our research at the first Norwich Science Festival and to show people locally how far reaching the work taking place in essentially a rural county can be in terms of impact to societies across the globe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/
 
Description Nottingham MSc student visit (2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation to students from two MSc courses at Nottingham University. Discussion with students on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants, the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project, the Takeall project and the OSR-Flux project. (RMH, SB & RB)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Nottingham MSc students visit (2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with students on how and why we make GM wheat crop plants using Takeall disease as an example of a project which could not be achieved without GM, and the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Oral presentation at the Monogram (small grain cereals) meeting in Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Oral presentation by Emma Wallington on "Engineering wheat for take-all resistance" given at the Monogram (small grain cereals) meeting at the University of Bristol, 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2017
 
Description Quantitative Statistics Course, NIAB: talk on NIAB Crop Transformation featuring CRWT project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Discussion with course participants

Increase the breadth of interest in the project, and crop transformation capabilities at NIAB
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description SAW Project on DNA and Cells 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Delivered a SAW project with a year 6 class at a local primary school on DNA and cells and also talked about careers in science with the children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description SAW stand at the Royal Norfolk Show 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 2015 marked the 150 year anniversary of a presentation of research to the Natural Science Society in Brno by Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, who is regarded as the "father of modern genetics". In 1865, Mendel presented his work from studies done on pea plants in the gardens of the monastery in Brno that provided the first description of the Laws of Inheritance.

To celebrate Mendel's work and enable children to follow his methods to understand how the Laws of Inheritance work, we ran an interactive stand in the Discovery Zone at the Royal Norfolk Show. The stand provided a mix of hands-on science led by scientists from the John Innes Centre and an art activity that invited children to contribute to the build of some giant pea pods led by environmental artist Ruth MacDougall.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SAW workshop at Barford Primary School 11 March 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Saw (Science, Art and Writing) project in Barford primary school together with Jenni Rant, Gemma Farré Martinez, James Reed, Chris Hann (artist) and Mike O'Driscoll (writer). We spent an entire day at school, explaining my project (Engineer wheat for "Take all" resistance) and opening a dialog about GMOs with 10 to 11 years old pupils. This project took place on the Tuesday 11th of March 2014.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Science in Norwich day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helped Jenni Rant (SAW) to hold a stand describing the scientific research ongoing at JIC, at the Science in Norwich Day at the Forum on the 1st of June 2014 .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://soin.org.uk/2014/04/science-in-norwich-day-2014/
 
Description Submitted scientific images to the Norwich Research Park image library 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The NRP image library consists of images arising from research in life and environmental sciences on the Norwich Research Park . The aim of NRP research is to deliver solutions to the global challenges of healthy ageing, food and energy security, sustainability and environmental change and this is reflected in the images in the library.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/searchresults.aspx?query=leveau
 
Description Taking on takeall 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article written for the NIAB publication, Landmark on the Takeall project.

Increased interest in the project from visitors
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Talk at MfN joint workshop with Rothamsted Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Speaker at a joint MfN workshop with Rothamstead Research on Discovery and bioenginnering of plant triterpene pathways
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk with GM materials on Crop Transformation for NIAB Regional staff event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with farm trials teams and agronomists on how and why we make GM wheat and OSR, new developments in the technology new technologies and the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project and social implications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2016
 
Description Talk with display materials on Crop Transformation for Cambridge University students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Demonstration of crop transformation. Discussion with farm trials teams and agronomists on how and why we make GM wheat and OSR, new developments in the technology new technologies and the range of genes/traits included in the Community Resource for wheat Transformation project and social implications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Training session at the John Innes Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Golden Gate training session directed by Christian Rogers in the Chris Lamb training suite at JIC. I ran a 45 min session describing the introduction of the hypertrans and 2A peptide expression system in the Golden Gate cloning system. I also co-organised an in silico practical exercise on how to build GoldenGate vectors using Vector NTI and APE. 28-05-2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description UEA/JIC MSc student visit (2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Practical demonstration and overview of our wheat, OSR and rice GM projects including the implementation and use of new developments such as gene editing in wheat and rice in relevant projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description University of Cambridge, Dept. of Plant Sciences student visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Oral presentation with exhibits of some of our wheat and rice GM projects for two groups of undergraduate plant science students from University of Cambridge. The students were able to see all of the tissue culture stages in the wheat transformation process from immature embryo to transgenic wheat plants. The takeall project was presented as an example of a project which uses genetic modification to tackle a disease in wheat for which there is no resistance which can be bred in traditionally. New developments such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing were discussed, and the rationale for its implementation in a number of wheat and rice projects. The students were interested and engaged with our team to discuss the technologies, the practical applications and the regulatory landscape. We subsequently received applications for summer placements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Youth STEMM Award Mid-Year Conference OpenPlant Exhibit 26.01.17 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman, Michael Stephenson, Don Nguyen and Nadiatul Radzman (JIC) developed an interactive exhibit to span engineering, biology and chemistry in the context of synthetic biology for the Youth STEMM Awards mid-term conference for 14-18 year old students. The exhibit included interaction with electronic circuits and an explanation of genetic circuits and the importance of standards, infiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana (with water) and a new SynBio card game developed by Michael Stephenson. The new game served to showcase, in an accessible way, the concept of exploiting transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana towards drug discovery via combinatorial biosynthesis. Scientists and exhibitors explained their science to enthusiastic students the Youth STEMM mid-year conference. Example blog from a year 10 attendee: http://ysawards.co.uk/2017/02/01/madelines-experience-at-the-women-of-the-future-conference/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ysawards.co.uk/