Nutritional Genomics Group

Optimisation of mineral fertilisers in crop production

One objective of our group is to optimise the use of mineral fertilisers in crop production and, thereby, reduce fertiliser inputs and pollution. In recent years, this work has focused on improving the mineral nutrition of crops and has included the development of molecular diagnostics for P-starvation, the identification of P efficient varieties, and the trialling of sustainable P-fertilisers. Collaborative projects related to this area of research include the following.

Nutritional quality of crops

Another objective is to improve the nutritional quality of crops through their biofortification with essential nutrients such as calcium, selenium and zinc. These collaborative projects include the development of commercial products and intervention studies.

  • 2007-2010: Increasing dietary mineral delivery through potatoes
  • 2006-2010: Improving the zinc composition of Brassica crops
  • 2006-2009: BAGELS: Biofortification of wheat with selenium (Defra LK0974)
  • 2006-2009: Development and evaluation of low-phytate wheat (Defra LK0973)
  • 2006-2009: Selinum uptake by plants
  • 2006-2008: EU-Sol: High quality Solanaceous crops (EU)

Reducing the transmission of toxic elements in the food chain

The Nutritional Genomics Group is also developing strategies to reduce the entry of toxic elements into the food chain. This work has focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms by which radioisotopes and toxic elements are accumulated by plants, and developing strategies to reduce their concentrations in edible tissues. Project related to this area of research include: