A grant of more than £1 million for research into the development of novel fungicides has been awarded to Professor Tony Moore at the University of Sussex.
The award, from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in collaboration with Agform, will help to drive vital research into the control of respiratory activity in fungi which attack the world’s major cereal crops, said the university.
Prof Moore is to work with Agform, a company which develops agrochemicals, to design fungicides to target the protein ‘alternative oxidase’.
Alternative oxidase plays a key role in the respiratory chain of fungi. Professor Moore, from the University of Sussex, said: “Fungicides play a key role in the control of diseases in crops and are a vital part of ensuring global food security.
“Our previous fungicides work has provided us with the platform to design novel compounds specifically targeted to the alternative oxidase in fungi that attack major cereal crops such as wheat, barley and rice.”
John Misselbrook, Agform managing director, said: “Agform Limited are very pleased to offer this support to the project and we look forward to our continuing collaboration.
“Resistance to agrochemicals is an international problem that affects all major crops. Any new product identified by our collaboration could thus be very valuable in a large market, important in the cultivation of cereal crops in the UK.”