Research hub is top of the crops

Published: 9 Feb 2013 16:300 comments

A STATE-of-the-art wheat breeding facility to support UK farmers has launched in Bracknell. The £2m Syngenta glasshouse was opened by Professor Sir John Beddington, the Government's chief scientific adviser, on Tuesday last week following months of construction work and planning

Syngenta lab technician Sam Bull makes an early stage inspection in the new glasshouse.

A STATE-of-the-art wheat breeding facility to support UK farmers has launched in Bracknell.

The £2m Syngenta glasshouse was opened by Professor Sir John Beddington, the Government's chief scientific adviser, on Tuesday last week following months of construction work and planning.

The facility covers 2,000sqm and uses a variety of controlled environment rooms to help scientists synthesise the perfect wheat-growing conditions - supporting and accelerating traditional breeding programmes for this crucial crop.

Sir John said: "In the near future we face enormous challenges of food and water security in the face of continuing climate change - we need higher yielding crops which are resilient to these environmental changes."

He added: "Wheat is an enormously important crop. This facility is a significant and timely development."

The glasshouse is located at Syngenta's Jealott's Hill research and development site in Warfield, and complements Syngenta's established wheat-breeding centre in Cambridgeshire. Paul Drayton, Syngenta's head of cell biology for Europe, Africa and Middle East, said: "This is an exciting new facility and represents another major investment in the site by Syngenta. 

"The scientists who work here will help to speed up the process of bringing new crop varieties to the market, supporting farmers here in the UK and beyond."

With more than 600 scientists, Syngenta's Jealott's Hill site is the largest privately owned agricultural science research facility in the UK.

For more information on the company's research, visit www.syngenta.com

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