World food shortage and bioenergy
Scientists in the UK and USA including a team from Oxford Brookes University, have been awarded £6.1 million to improve the process of photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis allows plants to convert sunlight into food. The four transatlantic research consortia will explore ways to overcome limitations in photosynthesis which could significantly increase the yield of crops for food production or sustainable bioenergy.
In a related area Professor Chris Hawes and his colleagues are researching strategies to prevent the spread of viruses in plants. Professor Hawes is the leader of the Plant Endomembrane research Group in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences.
The team will be investigating the role of a specific group of membrane proteins. Ultimately the work should improve our understanding of how cells communicate with each other and lead to the development of strategies to prevent virus spread through plants.