Genetics and pre-breeding

The genetics and pre-breeding department is focussed on research and development targeting arable crop genetic improvement.

With a focus towards industry application, we address the underlying genetics of agricultural production traits. Our research is challenge-led, aiming to prioritise and focus work to deliver maximum benefit to the arable farming sector. Research questions incorporate genetics, genomics, agronomy and data-driven approaches.

We have developed a wealth of underpinning resources in wheat, the UK’s major cereal, including germplasm and analysis pipelines. These resources form the basis of our applied trait research, which aims to uncover the genetic basis of quantitative traits, characterise novel sources of native trait variation and develop strategies for its incorporation into breeding programmes. Within the team we aim to train the next generation of scientists who can think clearly across scales from the gene to the whole field, and who can work collaboratively across disciplines.