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Scottish specialists team up to unlock water industry innovation

Water specialists from the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Water are at the forefront of the Water Test Network, an international drive to unlock innovation potential in the global water industry, which also involves experts in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

Fourteen locations across North West Europe form the network of operational-scale facilities which allow innovative new technology to be brought to market-ready status quicker for the benefit of water users and consumers.

New study examines impact of ecosystem management policies on monitoring and evaluation programmes

Monitoring and evaluation are key elements in the adaptive management of our ecosystems, the process of learning from new experiences and insights to improve how we manage the environment. A research consortium led by the James Hutton Institute has assessed the impact of ecosystem management policies across Europe on monitoring and evaluation programmes, finding that further development is needed to enable adaptive management.

Innovative genetic technique to help achieve better barley

On Burns Night, let’s raise a dram to better barley: scientists based at the International Barley Hub in Dundee have developed a genotyping array that allows the detailed genetic characterisation of any individual barley variety. The array reveals diagnostic variation at almost 50,000 unique positions across the barley genome in a single test, almost ten times more than current technology.

Hutton chemical analysis contributes to study of pollutants in sheep livers

Researchers based at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen have contributed to a study which has found that pollutants cause ‘worrying’ changes in sheep livers.

More fibre in your diet? Hutton science can help

Most of us need to get more fibre into our diets, we now hear, but we’re also told that it’s quite hard to do that. Happily, our scientists have been working on ways to help get past that difficulty, through several strands of research with industry on plant-derived dietary fibre.

Potato scientists unravel genetics of tuber skin and flesh colour

Potato tuber skin and flesh colours are attractive traits for consumers and frequently influence purchase choices. In a new study, scientists of the James Hutton Institute have identified a genetic molecule that regulates the production of anthocyanin, a natural pigment which in turn influences tuber skin and flesh colour. 

The researchers also identified previously unknown inhibitors of anthocyanin production, offering an opportunity for potato breeders to target these genes in new breeding programmes to establish new colour combinations.

Fruit for the Future 2019 Visitor registration

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Reindeer able to maintain circadian rhythm in total light or darkness

Even if it has been dark for months, Rudolph always knows when it is Christmas Eve.

In a new paper published in Scientific Reports, an international collaboration of scientists from the James Hutton Institute, the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research has shown that even in 24 hours of light or darkness, Svalbard reindeer maintain a 24-hour clock.

Warmer winters threaten UK blackcurrant farming

Warmer winters may not provide sufficient chilling for blackcurrants in the UK, delaying the start of the growing season and resulting in reduced yields and lower fruit quality, researchers have found.

Like many fruit crops and woody plants, blackcurrants require a period of chilling before they start to grow in spring. This reduces the risk of frost damage to new buds and ensures that buds burst rapidly in the spring and flower together, when pollinators are abundant.

New partnership to introduce Scottish potato varieties to India

The James Hutton Institute's commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, has entered into a five-year agreement with Technico Agri Sciences, a subsidiary of Indian company ITC Limited, for the provision of 16 potato varieties and 600 clones to be trialled and tested in India. 

It is hoped that the introduction of new potato varieties will benefit India's potato growers and industry by addressing the demand of processors and exporters and improving yields, thereby enhancing farmgate prices and farmer incomes.


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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.