NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

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Genetics & Breeding Research

A global leader in genetics and plant breeding

A central objective of NIAB’s research activity is to bridge the recognised gap between the basic understanding of plant genetics and the ability to apply that knowledge in practice.

NIAB has expertise in plant breeding and plant genetics, including a prebreeding platform capable of delivering new sources of genetic innovation. Our aim is to increase crop production and improve resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses across the major arable crops – cereals, oilseed rape and pulses – as well as soft and top fruit.

NIAB provides a delivery mechanism allowing novel traits and associated marker technologies to flow from publicly-funded research through to exploitation in commercial breeding. Our programmes are focused in to be at the forefront of crop science research:


The NIAB Genetics and Breeding Group is around forty staff and funding includes a significant investment from the NIAB Trust over five years. NIAB has been successful in gaining matching funding from two major sources, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and DEFRA’s LINK programmes in Sustainable Agriculture and Renewable Materials. 

A broad multidisciplinary approach to research is a special strength of the Institute, and the range of skills available from studies on genetics and physiology, through agronomy and pathology to glasshouse and field trials is unique within the UK.

Contact: Dr Alison Bentley

NIAB G&B