By Kiara Davies
Durham University has received £4.5m from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to help further research into how to protect crops from climate change.
This research, whilst being led by Durham University, is being done in collaboration with other top Russell Group universities including Cambridge, Liverpool, and Nottingham.
Durham, alongside these partners, has already proven how modifying key proteins in plants can help them survive in harsh environments.
This funding will help the bioscience researchers to further understand what triggers the modification process, in particular the regulator called SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier), and how it helps plants to adapt their behaviour based on the environment.
The research comes at a time where recent figures have shown that over one quarter of the world is affected by moderate or severe food insecurity, with the social implications of Covid-19 thought to further threaten food systems.
The research is being led by Professor Ari Sadanandom and Dr Miguel de-Lucas from the Department of Biosciences.
Image: Maddie Flisher