BRISTOL, ENGLAND — The U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has awarded the University of Bristol £1.7 million for the university’s Cereal Genomics Group.

The Cereal Genomics Group, which is led by professor Keith Edwards and Gary Baker from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol, was set up to explore and understand cereal genomes, with a specific focus on wheat.

According to the University of Bristol, the £1.7 million investment is part of the BBSRC’s Designing Future Wheat program, which is designed to address the challenge of providing an estimated 60% larger wheat harvest globally by 2050. Specifically, the program looks to develop higher yielding and more resilient varieties of wheat with improved nutrition.

The Cereal Genomics Group will be responsible for generating new tools and technologies for use by commercial and academic breeders to help speed up the breeding process.

The Designing Future Wheat program is led by the John Innes Centre and includes groups from Rothamsted Research, the Earlham Institute, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany and the University of Nottingham.