Winning image - Feeding the world with plant science

Chris Morgan, a Doctoral Researcher in the School of Biosciences, has won the annual Images of Research competition with his 'Feeding the world with plant science' photo (right).

As Earth’s population continues to grow, so too does the demand for sustainable food production. A large proportion of the UK’s plant science research is aimed at generating plants with new beneficial characteristics, such as increased drought tolerance or higher yield. Translating these beneficial characteristics to crop plants, such as wheat and maize, will help to address some of the problems associated with ensuring future global food security.

Chris' image shows seedlings of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana germinating on an agar petri dish. He explains "We are using molecular biology to investigate how a special form of cell division called meiosis is controlled and regulated in Arabidopsis. By investigating meiosis we aim to understand how genetic material (DNA) is reshuffled and passed between parents and offspring in plants. We can then use this knowledge to inform and improve current plant breeding technologies, hopefully allowing plant breeders to generate novel crop varieties with desirable traits."

In the video below, Chris describes his research and experiences of studying for a PhD at the School of Biosciences.