Agronomy and Soils

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The agronomy and soils group focuses on sustainable agricultural production. Most of our research involves field trial work in collaboration with key farmers or farm groups, followed by controlled environment or glasshouse studies to resolve underlying mechanisms.

Our research expertise and interests enable us to address a range of fundamental, strategic and applied aspects of crop-plant agronomy, the interaction of plants with soils, and other genotype by environment (GxE) interactions.

Current Research

The productivity and health of plants and their use as food crops is strongly dependent upon the adaptation and matching of the sets of genes within a plant (its genotype) with environmental factors, including soil, climate and stresses from pests and diseases.

Much of our current research associated with plant nutrition is focused on the role of phosphate, and how this globally limited resource is cycled and mobilised within the plant and soil.

We have a wider interest in mineral nutrition, including understanding how the levels of calcium and magnesium are regulated within the plant. We are working closely with colleagues in the UK to use such information as a basis for biofortification to improve the modern human diet.