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Food security news

Wild tomatoes are better able to protect themselves against the destructive whitefly than our modern, commercial varieties, new research has shown. The study, published in the academic journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development, shows that in our quest for larger, redder, longer-lasting tomatoes we have inadvertently bred out key characteristics that help the plant defend itself against predators.


Nine projects totalling more than £7M have been awarded by BBSRC, the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of an integrated programme of research on bovine tuberculosis (TB). The programme, comprising two separate calls, aims to promote a step change in bovine TB research leading to the development of novel control and eradication strategies.


The first ever Britain-wide assessment of the value of wild flowers as food for pollinators shows that decreasing resources mirror the decline of pollinating insects, providing new evidence to support the link between plant and pollinator decline. In recent years, there have been considerable concerns over threats to wild bees and other insect pollinators which are vital to the success of important food crops and wild flowers.


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