Welcome to The Sainsbury Laboratory in the Innovation Hub.
Find out about: Genetic solutions for durable disease resistance & improved storage | Modifying genomes through conventional breeding & gene editing | Insight into GM trial with NIAB CUF
Saving Spuds from late blight and tuber deterioration using 21st Century Genetics
Potato farming and the potato processing industry face many difficult and expensive challenges, notably potato late blight which attacks the plant, and losses that result during harvest and storage. Researchers at The Sainsbury Laboratory aim to enhance favoured potato varieties to provide durable resistance to late blight, limit losses from mechanical bruising and prevent accumulation of reducing sugars upon storage at low temperatures. Together, these enhancements have a potential to lower the cost and environmental impact of production, reduce processing wastage and provide a healthier product to the consumer.
Genetic modification relies on small changes introduced into plant genome to deliver the desired characteristics unavailable by classical breeding or gene editing. To ‘liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti-genetic modification rules’, as expressed by Boris Johnson in his first speech as Prime Minister in July 2019, would enable this useful method to benefit the UK farming and food industry.
Listen to Professor Jonathan Jones, who leads the research group at The Sainsbury Laboratory, explaining more about their work.
Interested in finding out more about the field trials of these genetically modified potatoes? Hear from Professor Gerard Bishop from NIAB CUF talking about the ongoing field trials.
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If you have any further questions please click on the envelope below to email a dedicated Blight Trial Inbox.
In this 25 min podcast, hear from Crop4Sight CEO Paul Coleman, Simon Bowen Head of Knowledge Exchange at BBRO, and Jonathan Jones, Sebastian Fairhead, and Agnieszka Witek who are all researchers at The Sainsbury Laboratory, on their work in potatoes and sugar beet.
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More information and news about The Sainsbury Laboratory
The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) is a world-leading research institute specializing in molecular plant-microbe interactions. TSL is internationally recognized for its excellent fundamental scientific research and is committed to delivering science solutions that benefit agriculture, the environment and as a consequence human and animal health.
The Laboratory’s main goals are to:
- Make fundamental discoveries in plant-microbe interactions
- Develop cutting-edge technologies
- Build on fundamental scientific research and deliver solutions that reduce crop losses caused by important plant diseases
- Provide an outstanding training environment that prepares scientists who pass through the Laboratory to excel in their careers
Scientists at TSL work on topics directly relevant to crop improvement such as: biotechnological approaches to crop disease resistance, the molecular dialogue between plants and pathogens, non-self recognition in plants, plant genomics and pathogen genomics.
Funding is primarily from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the European Union.
To deliver agricultural solutions to growers, TSL research groups have excellent ties with several breeding companies and growers, which are leveraged though translational (TSL+) projects. In addition, TSL hosts a research group funded by the Two Blades Foundation focusing on translational research. One of the targets of this group is to develop and deploy durable and race-independent resistance against Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) in collaboration with DuPont Pioneer.