Sustainable horticulture

Research Project: Balancing food security and biodiversity – are fungi the answer?

2012–2015 (Cameron & Evans)

Read the full Henieken case study
Listen to the NERC Planet Earth Podcast

This industrial partnership between the University of Sheffield and Heineken investigates how microbial diversity in soil affects apple production. Promoting interactions between apple tree roots and beneficial soil microbes, it demonstrates the potential to increase nutrition and plant defence.

Balancing food security and biodiversity – are fungi the answer?

This is a highly important collaboration between cider and beer business Heineken, partner trade body the National Association of Cider Makers, and researchers in the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

The cider orchard, pictured, that has been established at the University of Sheffield is enabling our researchers to manipulate the biological diversity of microbes in the soil and the genetic variability of apples.

“We don’t need to expand agriculture in terms of area, we need to be smart about integrating technologies and this is an integrative approach to sustainably produce food: genetic modification, classic breeding, management of ecosystems and the application of targeted agrochemicals will all be needed to ensure sufficient levels of food production.”

Professor Duncan Cameron, P3 Director

For more information about our partnership with Heineken, watch the video below.

Research co-funded by:

NACMNERC