Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research helps breeders really know their onions to enhance global food security

Date:
August 3, 2011
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Researchers have developed a unique collection of information about the disease resistance of 96 of the world’s onion varieties. It will be a crucial resource for commercial growers and seed producers trying to combat one of the most difficult diseases affecting onion crops. This work may also have benefits in terms of and reduced fertilizer consumption and enhanced drought tolerance.

Dr Andrew Taylor of the Warwick Crop Centre at the University of Warwick.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Warwick

Research led by the Warwick Crop Centre in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick has developed a unique collection of information about the disease resistance of 96 of the world's onion varieties. It will be a crucial resource for commercial growers and seed producers trying to combat one of the most difficult diseases affecting onion crops. This work may also have key-benefits of reduced fertiliser consumption and enhanced drought tolerance.

The work on onions, in this research funded by Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), is being carried out by Dr Andrew Taylor a Research Fellow in the University of Warwick's School of Life Sciences, who has tested and recorded key traits of 96 varieties of onion from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa , India, the US and Japan. The data provides information that will be crucial to growers seeking to create onion varieties that can resist Fusarium oxysporum (which causes basal rot in onions), and which also respond well to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi -- beneficial fungi. An improved interaction with these fungi assists nutrient uptake in onions potentially decreasing the amount of fertiliser required. These fungi can have other beneficial effects such as increased disease resistance and drought tolerance.

This research will not only help individual commercial growers and seed producers but will also contribute significantly to global food security, particularly in situations where rising temperatures are an issue. Enhanced resistance to Fusarium oxysporum will be of importance in dealing with rising temperatures as basal rot is more active and acute in warmer conditions.

Dr Andrew Taylor will present his work at the Onion Global 2011 conference in Deidesheim Germany which runs from 16th-18th August. The work forms part of a larger Defra funded study at the University of Warwick entitled the "Vegetable Genetic Improvement Network (VeGIN)" looking at understanding and cataloguing useful traits in a range of vegetables that seed producers can use to inform their breeding strategies.

Dr Andrew Taylor from Warwick Crop Centre said: "We have developed a unique onion diversity set from material sourced from across the globe. We now have a extremely useful library of the variation in traits including resistance to Fusarium oxysporum (the cause of ), response to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (beneficial fungi which help nutrient uptake) and seed/seedling vigour, all of which will be extremely useful to growers and seed producers dealing with changing conditions and threats to onion crops."

Warwick Crop Centre Director Dr Rosemary Collier said: "I am delighted that VeGIN is already providing results that can have a direct impact on the global efforts to enhance food security. This is just the first of what will be a range of outputs from this Defra funded work at the Warwick Crop Centre that will be of significant benefit to growers across the planet."

A Defra spokesperson said: "This important research shows how farmers can farm smarter -- producing crops that are naturally resistant to rot and disease can help them reduce the amount of fertiliser and pesticides they need in our changing climate."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Research helps breeders really know their onions to enhance global food security." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803083458.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2011, August 3). Research helps breeders really know their onions to enhance global food security. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803083458.htm
University of Warwick. "Research helps breeders really know their onions to enhance global food security." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803083458.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins