// Archives

How does rice reproduce when it’s hot? – An interview with Maureen Ng’ang’a

Maureen Ng’ang’a is a second-year PhD student on the UoN-Rothamsted Graduate Centre for International Agriculture scheme.  Her project is entitled ‘TempR: Developing reproductive resilience to heat stress in rice’. Her supervisors are: Dr. Sigrid Heuer (RRes), Prof. Zoe Wilson (UoN) and Prof. Erik Murchie (UoN). Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were …

Bees and neonicotinoids – what does the science say? – by Prof. David E. Salt

Photo by Roberto Patti on Unsplash DEFRA has announced that, for the 2021 growing season, thiamethoxam will be allowed to treat sugar beet seeds, prior to planting. This is a temporary authorisation for 2021 only but may be extended for the 2022 & 2023 growing seasons. This has understandably caused controversy and elicited passionate reactions. …

From China to the UK during the pandemic – An interview with Dr Yiqun Gao

Dr Yiqun Gao is based at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences. He is a Newton International Fellow at The Future Food Beacon and we are grateful to him for travelling to the UK to take up his Fellowship on 1st November 2020, right in the middle of the UK’s ongoing Covid-19 pandemic! His brave decision …

Improving Brassica rapa for better nutrition – An interview with Dr Guillermina Mendiondo

Dr Guillermina Mendiondo is an Assistant Professor in Translational Crop Science at The University of Nottingham. She works on different plant species as part of her work on crop molecular genetics within the Future Food Beacon. The origins of the project In 2018, Dr Mendiondo travelled to South Africa and visited farmers in KwaZulu-Natal as …

Chasing auxin through the plant – international collaboration leads to Nature paper – by Anthony Bishopp

Photo (right) by Rita Astrovich on Unsplash Anthony Bishopp is a Royal Society University Research Fellow, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham When Charles Darwin noticed that plants bend towards light, he performed a series of experiments showing that a mobile signal produced in the growing tip caused the plants to bend at the base. 160 years …

The real arsenate reductase stands up! – Is this the end of the HAC story?

Warning: this blog contains some hardcore plant science. Look away now if this is a bit much!  This blog celebrates the publication in the Journal of Experimental Botany of a new paper about arsenate reductase in plants. Dr. Sina Fischer of the Future Food Beacon is the first author on the study and performed much of the work, assisted by a number of co-authors. including Dr Paulina Flis who leads Prof. Salt’s Ionomics Facility. Prof. David E. …

Computer Vision and plants – An interview with Bowen Deng

Bowen Deng is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project  Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?   All my life, I have had a fascination with computing and technology. I have always enjoyed keeping pace with the latest advances in technology and have remained amazed at the speed of computerized developments over …

Root growth in a complex microbiome – Dr Gabriel Castrillo’s paper in Nature

This blog celebrates the achievement of our very own Dr. Gabriel Castrillo in becoming co-first author on a paper in the leading journal, nature. Everybody at The Future Food Beacon takes delight in seeing Gabriel’s work going from strength to strength. His new paper is called A single bacterial genus maintains root growth in a …

Crops for the future: the case of the winged bean – by Chong Yuet Tian

Future Food Beacon researchers in Malaysia and the UK are working with partners globally to utilise crop diversity to plug gaps in food production. We aim to address nutrition security challenges by making a diverse range of healthy food crops available and accessible to all. In addition to the flagship project on Bambara groundnut, Future …

Resistance to disease in tropical crops – an interview with Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan

Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan (‘Uma’) is the Director of the Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies. The Future Food Beacon is proud to welcome him as an Honorary Professor for the 2020/21 academic year. We spoke with Uma about his research career, current projects, and collaborations with Future Food.  Tell me about your work. What is your research about?   …