How and why do plants tell the time? Antony Dodd’s lab is looking at the influence of timing on plant productivity.
“My team conducts fundamental research to understand the processes that allow plants to measure the time of day. This is crucial for crops, because they grow in environments that have daily cycles of light and darkness. We have found that circadian rhythms have far reaching effects upon plant performance, such as their photosynthesis and the amount of water they use. This is an area of study known as chronobiology.
“Of particular interest is how circadian rhythms affect the responses of plants to agrochemicals, and to fluctuations in the temperature of the environment in which they grow.
“We have also found that soil bacteria that affect plant health also have a biological clock.”
Projects have included work with:
- LettUs Grow, developers of technology for vertical farming, studying how cultivation recipes such as lighting, fertilisation, sowing can be optimised, using knowledge of circadian rhythms.
- Syngenta, to study roles for circadian rhythms in the effectiveness of herbicides including glyphosate.
REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture – 10th November 2021
Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.