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BOLD funding for Hutton Institute

BOLD
BOLD FUNDING
“Crop diversity is the biological foundation of agriculture; it’s a treasure trove of useful traits in plants that we can harness to build climate-resilient crops"

The James Hutton Institute has been awarded £350,000 of funding to further develop its innovative software to support global food security efforts.

Hutton’s homegrown software platforms, GridScore and Germinate, will support the Crop Trust’s BOLD project (Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development), which is backed by $58 million from the Norwegian Government.The 10-year project aims to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide by supporting the conservation and use of crop diversity.

Hutton’s GridScore platform will allow BOLD partners to collect and store phenotype data –the traits and features – of crops. This information will be available to all, and can be used to carry out and track the results of field trials. Germinate will ensure that all experimental data will be made available freely and quickly to the global research community, using web-based interactive tools.

This data will help inform researchers and plant breeders, and help with the development of new more climate resistant crops specific to their geographical location.

There are seven key crops in the BOLD project: alfalfa, barley, finger millet, grass pea, potato, rice and durum wheat. These crops have significant agricultural importance to large parts of the world, and in some instances, have been under served when it comes to their bioinformatics.

Dr Paul Shaw, who leads the BOLD work at the James Hutton Institute said: “Crop diversity is the biological foundation of agriculture; it’s a treasure trove of useful traits in plants that we can harness to build climate-resilient crops.

“Informatic tools developed here at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie are playing an increasingly key role in collecting, storing and sharing experimental data from BOLD and other projects around the world.

“This project will get data from these crops into researchers and breeders’ hands quickly, and in usable, standard formats. We hope this means that the data and underlying germplasm is more efficiently used around the world. We need to be sure that we have enough food to feed people in a changing climate.”

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of The James Hutton Institute said: “It’s great to support BOLD in such an important biodiversity project that will not only help Scottish industries in terms of agriculture, but also on a global level. Crop diversity is a vital scientific foundation of agriculture and safeguarding this to cope with future changes requires modern research techniques.”

Dr. Benjamin Kilian, a Senior Scientist at the Crop Trust and Coordinator of the BOLD Project said: “The data generated by each of the pre-breeding efforts is as immense as it is valuable. Beyond BOLD, we know it can serve others in their efforts to adapt crops to a changing climate. But to do this, the data need not only be accessible, but accessible in ways that it can be further explored and utilised.”

Notes to editors

The Crop Trust is an international organization working to conserve crop diversity and protect global food and nutrition security. At the core of Crop Trust is an endowment fund dedicated to providing guaranteed financial support to genebanks worldwide. It supports the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and coordinates large-scale projects worldwide to secure crop diversity and make it available for use. The Crop Trust is recognized as an essential component of the funding strategy of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Learn more at www.croptrust.org

BOLD (Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods, and Development) is a major 10-year project to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide by supporting the conservation and use of crop diversity. The project works with national gene banks, pre-breeding and seed system partners globally. Funded by the government of Norway, BOLD is led by the Crop Trust in partnership with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the International Plant Treaty. More information is available here: https://www.croptrust.org/work/projects/the-bold-project

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Issued on behalf of the James Hutton Institute by Lisa Donnelly. For further information, please contact lisa@clarkcommunications.co.uk or 07711476772.


Printed from /news/bold-funding-hutton-institute on 29/01/23 08:14:31 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.