$ 74 million will be invested for AgriTech Hub on the Roslin Institute campus

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The Roslin Institute has received strategic investment funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is part of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

An investment of US $ 74 million for a new agro-technology hub will improve the efficiency and yield of agricultural applications. (Image Source: Adobe Stock)

$ 74 million investment for a new agri-technology hub will improve efficiency and production in agricultural applications and enhance global food security

The agrotechnology hub will be concentrated on the campus of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at Easter Bush, the largest concentration of animal science research expertise in Europe, where the Roslin Institute is located, with a scope in all of the University of Edinburgh.

The investment will include US $ 27 million from the UK government, including US $ 1.3 million from the Scottish government, as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland area agreement.

The investment will transform the scale and impact of agricultural technology in education, research and innovation outcomes. The Easter Bush AgriTech Hub aims to develop cutting-edge data science research capabilities.

The hub will bring together researchers from the University of Edinburgh and other higher education institutions, as well as business, public and third-sector organizations, in collaboration with project partners Midlothian Council.

The researchers will work with the Scottish and UK public sector, including the Animals and Plants Agency (APHA), the Scottish Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Division, the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Industry, such as Innovate UK Agro-Technology Centers.

Precipitation can have a significant influence on the evolution of sheep in Ethiopia, researchers have found. Genetic variations in sheep DNA are linked more to rainfall levels than to temperature or altitude, suggests analysis of their genetic makeup and climate data.

A better understanding of the environmental adaptation of native livestock breeds can help inform breeding and management strategies in tropical countries like Ethiopia, where a third of smallholders own sheep.

The Roslin Institute group set out to determine whether the environment influenced changes in the DNA of sheep to help them thrive in different climates.

In one of the largest single region-based studies, researchers analyzed the genomes of 94 sheep from 12 different regions of Ethiopia and examined them with detailed climate information for each of the geographic regions.

The researchers compared the genomes of sheep and found more than three million small differences in specific segments of their DNA. They then looked at elevation, temperature, and precipitation in each of the study’s 12 geographic regions and measured how many times these genetic variations occurred in sheep living under each of the environmental conditions.

There was a stronger association between the frequency of these genetic variations and precipitation levels relative to temperature or altitude, suggesting that precipitation is a more important environmental factor for genetic adaptation in Ethiopian sheep.


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