Research Programmes at SCRI

A broad multi-disciplinary approach to fundamental and strategic research, and technology transfer, are special strengths of SCRI. Our programmes span the disciplines of genetics and breeding, molecular and cellular biology, biotechnology, plant pathology (bacteriology, entomology, mycology, nematology and virology), plant physiology and cell biology, environmental science, plant chemistry and biochemistry, agronomy, molecular ecology, vegetation dynamics, bioremediation, serology, physics, mathematics, bioinformatics and statistics. Genetics and enhanced breeding of selected crops, and biotechnology, lie at the core of our research, development and training programmes and plant scientists from the University of Dundee are also based at SCRI.

Four research programmes

Image looking over the Carse of Gowrie and the River TayEnvironment Plant Interactions (EPI) - Leader - Philip White

We work towards the efficient use of resources in resilient and sustainable managed systems. The resources include energy, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water. Sustainability incorporates a healthy environment and long-term economic viability.

Image showing a tractor alongside field trial plots at SCRIGenetics (GEN) - Leader - Robbie Waugh

Using state-of-the-art approaches in breeding and genetics this programme aims to deliver the next generation of crop plants that fulfil a range of end-user requirements.

Image showing a leafPlant Pathology (PP) - Leader - Lesley Torrance

We aim to understand disease processes from molecules and cells to pest and pathogen populations; our research provides underpinning knowledge for crop improvement through development of durable host resistance and sustainable disease control strategies.

Image of raspberriesPlant Products and Food Quality (PPFQ) - Leader - Derek Stewart

The programme conducts research into the chemical, biochemical and genetic bases of quality and bioactivity in plant-derived foods and products.

Overarching themes

There are also five overarching themes under which we conduct research.

Scottish Government Commissioned Research

The Scottish Government’s strategy for biological research for 2005-10 was published in January 2005.  That strategy sets out an important series of changes in the approach to commissioning research . Research is now commissioned under four programmes:

Programme 1: Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture – Plants
Programme 2: Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture - Animals
Programme 3: Environment – Land Use and Rural Stewardship
Programme 4: Impacts on Human Health

More details on the strategy and the research commissioned under each Programme can be found on the Scottish Government website. There is also information on the Programme 1 website.

Other Research

Division of Plant Sciences of the University of Dundee

Research scientists in this unit are based at SCRI, studying a wide range of areas including plant genomics/genetics, ecophysiology, metabolism, photosynthesis and floral development.