EPI Highlights

An occasional series on the achievements and wider relevance of research and applications in the EPI science programme.

Can indigenous microbes release phosphorus to crops?

Photograph of croplands in the dry season (Geoff Squire)An innovative new project aims to select and use indigenous, phosphorus-solubilising fungi and bacteria to increase the yield of crops by reducing phosphorus deficiency in the tropical soils of Cameroon. Isolation and testing of the microbes in the laboratory at SCRI will pave the way for field trials in Cameroon.

Read more on the Can indigenous microbes release phosphorus to crops? page.

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Coexistence and ecological biosafety of two GM crops in Europe

Map of field patterning in a study of cross pollination - provided by Enric Mele, SpainThe three-year, EU-funded project SIGMEA combined skills from many disciplines to examine the biological, environmental, agronomic, economic and legal issues that determine whether GM and non-GM crops can feasibly be grown in the same agricultural landscape. Its conclusions differed for the two crops that have been most widely studied.

Read more on the Coexistence and ecological biosafety of two GM crops in Europe page.

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Maths, modelling and quantitative biology

Photograph of root and root hairsThe diverse group of modellers and mathematical biologists in EPI has now reached critical mass with some 15 in-house researchers and students. They direct a range of concepts and tools to questions in systems biology, at scales of organ, individual and community, and in applications as diverse as plant-plant sensing, multi-trophic interactions, ‘industrial’ genotypes and GM coexistence policy.

Read more on the Maths, modelling and quantitative biology page.

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New directions in the Living Field project

Photograph of artist in residence Ronnie Forbes and helper - from the Living Field collectionSCRI’s widely respected educational project on the public understanding of science, established with charitable grants of £100k, now provides a range of IT aids, a demonstration garden, all-weather facilities and a study centre. It plans expansion to reach a wider public, while keeping its roots in the excitement of discovery.

Read more on the New directions in the Living Field project page.

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Threats to our soils in a changing climate

Photograph of a soils experimentSoil scientists at SCRI join a UK-wide consortium of research institutes and universities in a new £100k project to assess the effects of climatic change on threats to soil.

Read more on the Threats to our soils in a changing climate page.

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New ecological patterns from the GM crop trials (FSEs) database

Image showing sites for spring-sown crops in the FSEsTwo scientific papers (January 2009) on food webs and species-accumulation offer new approaches to GM risk assessment and post-commercial monitoring.

Read more on the New ecological patterns from the GM crop trials (FSEs) database page.

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Modern composts for soil health, good crops and landscaping

Photograph of compost made from urban green wasteScientists in EPI have been awarded more than £200,000 in research grants, 2007-2009, to find and test new uses for urban green wastes in eco-engineering and agriculture.  

Read more on the Modern composts for soil health, good crops and landscaping page.

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Selenium, bread and man

Image of Selenium chemical symbol on the periodic tableCollaborative research with the University of Nottingham on the BAGELS project aims to increase the amount of selenium in bread which is linked to human wellbeing.

Read more on the Selenium, bread and man page.

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