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Food security news

A new paper from scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich explains why plant breeders have found it difficult to produce wheat varieties which combine high yield and good resistance to Septoria, a disease in wheat which can cut yield losses by up to 50%. It traces the problem back to decisions made nearly sixty years ago.

A new laboratory, the ‘AOX Lab’, has been opened at Hilldale Research Centre in Wickham to develop novel fungicide compounds, based on ground-breaking research at the University of Sussex, and as a result of the institution’s first ever industrial partnership. Work planned at the site will help to drive vital research into the control of respiratory activity in fungi which attack the world’s major cereal crops.

Monitoring the migration routes of wild birds could help to provide early warning of potential bird flu outbreaks, experts say. The recommendation follows new research that shows migrating birds can help to spread deadly strains of avian flu around the world.