Research Areas - Writtle College

Specific Research Areas

Specific Research Areas

Comparing the effectiveness of a new basal medium for plant micropropagation

Principal investigator: John Cullum
Start date: April 2009
Collaborative partner: Valcent Products EU Ltd and Phytoplant Research, Spain
Formula Beta is a new basal medium for plant micropropagation and trials on Chinese foxglove, a medicinal herb, showed that better results were obtained compared with using the standard basal medium. The results of these trials have now been published. The comparative trials will next look at the effectiveness of Formula Beta as a basal medium in potato micropropagation.

Assessing the resistance of plant species to pathological diseases

Principal investigator: John Cullum
Start date: April 2008
Collaborative partner: Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece
The initial investigations examined the resistance of hawthorn species to isolates of the fireblight bacterium using laboratory and field methods developed at TEI. The results were subsequently published The next series of trials test whether these techniques are appropriate for assessing the resistance of elm to Dutch elm disease.

Farm-scale production of bio diesel

Principal investigator: Dr Clive Beale
Start date: May 2006
Collaborative partner: East of England Development Agency
Research is being done to assess the viability of on-farm production of bio-diesel.

Packaging with horticultural products

Principal investigator: Dr Chris Bishop
Start date: Jan 2006
Collaborative partner: Longlife Solutions
The aim of the project is to compare packaging materials in maintaining shelf life of produce.

Reduction of packaging waste

Principal investigator: Dr Chris Bishop
Start date: Feb 2006
Collaborative partner: Longlife Solutions & Somerfields
Research is being done to assess the viability of on-farm production of bio-diesel.

Salt tolerance in alternative crops and crop varieties

Principal investigator: Dr Clive Ireland
Start date: 2006

Ecophysiology and productivity of intercropping systems involving rubber

Principal investigator: Dr Clive Ireland
Start date: 2000
Collaborative partner: Rubber Research Institute, Sri Lanka
The project aims to evaluate the main competitive interactions that exist in rubber-tea intercrops in Sri Lanka and to identify the optimum agronomic conditions for maximum productivity of such crops

Methods for overcoming seed dormancy

Principal investigator: John Cullum
Start date: 1990
Collaborative partner: Italian Environment Protection Agency
This has been an ongoing area of investigation. The principal area of investigation has looked at the seeds of various rose species and marked improvements have been seen when a compost activator is added to the pre-treatment medium. Currently the College germination of Bupleurum falcatum seed is being investigated. This rare plant, the sickle-leaved hare’s-ear, is found at only 1 site in the UK, not far from Writtle. College conservation staff are working to safeguard this plant population and understanding more about its seed dormancy mechanism has enabled more plants to be produced and returned to the site.