The SUREROOT project builds on earlier BBSRC-funded research published last year in the Nature Journal Scientific Reports (Scientific Reports SREP-12--03690.3d) where it was reported that a forage grass hybrid known as Festulolium and designed originally for livestock agriculture, also held a hidden underground and previously unknown property.
The 5 year £2.5 million LINK project named SUREROOT is funded by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), and match-funded by a range of industrial partners from across the food production spectrum, including the British Grassland Society.
Dr Mike Humphreys of IBERS is leading the project and said: "Festulolium, which are defined as natural hybrids between ryegrass and fescue species, are very much the grasses for the future. They are the way ahead for sustainable livestock agricultural practices.
"Festulolium as a group differ widely in their attributes, but IBERS has developed options that provide for increased resilience to climate change and more water and nutrient-use efficiency together with several examples of environmental service. Their large well developed root systems combat flooding, reduce soil erosion and compaction and offer opportunities for significant carbon capture and storage at depth in soils."
To read more about the project download the poster here
BGS is a membership organisation which acts as a communication forum, through events and publications, for the profitable and sustainable use of grass and forage.