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James Hutton Institute and BioAtlantis to develop molecular priming technology to counter the effects of climate change

CropPrime
CropPrime
“By harnessing the power of 'Molecular Priming' technologies and leveraging natural compounds derived from marine algae, we aim to enhance crop resilience and protect against the increasing stresses brought about by adverse weather conditions. The CropPrime project exemplifies the power of international collaboration and knowledge exchange, and we are excited to contribute to the global impact of this research"

The James Hutton Institute (the Hutton) is collaborating with leading research groups and industrial collaborator BioAtlantis in a new European research project called "CropPrime."

With EU Horizon funding of up to €1 million confirmed,  CropPrime will develop "Molecular Priming" technologies, which will enhance crop yield under stressful conditions caused by climate change.

The project will primarily focus on developing novel technologies to improve crop tolerance to stresses associated with climate change.  One important aspect of the project will be the identification of natural compounds found in "plant biostimulant products" (which trigger natural plant processes that enhance nutrient use efficiency), derived from marine algae such as seaweed, produced by BioAtlantis, based in County Kerry, Ireland.

Additionally, the project will work on developing RNA (similar to DNA)-based fungicides to reduce fungal infections in crops. The overall goal of this research is to develop sustainable agri-tech products to help crop growers protect and enhance their crops against adverse weather conditions such as drought, heat, cold, and water-logging, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

The Hutton along with its project partners, will investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying plant stress and how these relate to the physiological processes that support crop resilience.

The project consortium brings together expertise in plant systems biology, chemistry, genetics, and biostimulant technology from research institutions in Europe, Africa, and South America. By pooling their efforts, the consortium aims to provide sustainable solutions for crop protection to growers.

Dr Robert Hancock, Senior Biochemist and Plant Physiologist at The James Hutton Institute, said: “This ambitious endeavour aligns perfectly with our mission to drive innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change.

“By harnessing the power of 'Molecular Priming' technologies and leveraging natural compounds derived from marine algae, we aim to enhance crop resilience and protect against the increasing stresses brought about by adverse weather conditions. The CropPrime project exemplifies the power of international collaboration and knowledge exchange, and we are excited to contribute to the global impact of this research. Together, we can pave the way for a more resilient and productive future in agriculture."

Notes to editors

CropPrime is a pan-European network that includes leading plant research centers and academic institutions such as VIB-Plant Systems Biology in Ghent (Belgium), Mendel University in Brno and the Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic), and the Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology (Bulgaria). Together with BioAtlantis, the network will develop innovative plant protection products and facilitate the exchange of information and expertise among EU member states and sectors.

Additionally, two non-EU partners, the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology of Rosario in Argentina, will expand the network's reach across three continents (Europe, Africa, and South America) and provide access to unique expertise, ensuring global impact for the planned research.

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For media enquiries or more information please contact Lisa Donnelly at Lisa@clarkcommunications.co.uk or 07711476772 

 


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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.