Durham and Liverpool unite to win share of BBSRC’s £14 million “rules of life” call.

Two N8 AgriFood institutions have joined forces to successfully win a share of BBSRC’s latest £14 million funding call.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) selected four teams of investigators in the UK after a call for researchers who would carry out long-term, large-scale and interdisciplinary programmes with the ambitious goal of discovering new rules of life.

Among the successful bids is ‘SUMOcode: deciphering how SUMOylation enables plants to adapt to their environment’. The project is a collaboration between N8 AgriFood institutions Durham University and The University of Liverpool, alongside University of Cambridge, and University of Nottingham and is led by Professor Ari Sadanandom, the N8 AgriFood Chair at Durham University.

Professor Sadanandom, left, said: “This investment will allow us to decipher the ‘SUMO code’ and determine how it programs cellular processes to adapt plant growth and development to different environmental stresses including water availability, salt and pathogens.”

BBSRC’s Executive Chair, Professor Melanie Welham, said: “The projects we have announced funding for today are at the cutting edge of bioscience. Researchers are looking at the very fundamentals of the rules of life.

“By pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge, we can often make surprising and potentially world-changing discoveries. This investment from BBSRC underlines our long-standing commitment to excellence in discovery research.

“Investing in excellent, curiosity-driven, discovery research in the UK remains the best strategy for delivering the adaptable knowledge that will be necessary to ensure healthy, prosperous and sustainable living, no matter what challenges the future brings.”

Find out more about the project HERE