International Year of Plant Health 2020
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The UN describes IYPH as “a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.”
One of the UN's key messages for IYPH is “invest in plant health capacity development, research and outreach”.
This is where UK Research and Innovation comes in. UKRI are working to ensure the best possible environment for plant health research and innovation to flourish.
We are a key player in tackling plant health challenges because we are working to find solutions to plant health issues to increase yields, reduce environmental impact and prevent outbreaks, as well as solving public health issues.
We have access to knowledge and stories that are key to the success of IYPH because the UK plant health research and innovation community has achieved amazing things so far for the UK and the world.
On this page, you will find examples of how UK Research and Innovation contributes to plant health.
Plant health: Chris Packham
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is a wildlife expert, photographer and author with a passionate concern for conservation and the environment.
Plant health: Pippa Greenwood
Pippa Greenwood, botanist, author and broadcaster, is a renowned and respected authority on plants and the pathogens which threaten their survival.
Plant health: Sir William Worsley
Sir William Worsley is Chair of the Forestry Commission. Before stepping down in February, he was the UK’s first Tree Champion. His role involved working with stakeholders and local authorities to promote the benefits of trees and help grow the country’s woodland cover.
Potato blight resistance gene
A new blight-resistant gene introduced to the Maris Piper potato offers the promise of furthering its crop strength, and even the possibility of avoiding the use of chemical fungicides in its cultivation altogether.
Targeting how fungi 'taste' wheat to develop control
Exploring how a hazardous fungal pathogen ‘tastes’ its surroundings within a wheat plant to coordinate virulence could be the key to developing new control strategies, scientists believe.
Plant pathogen detection device
FungiAlert, a company set up by two EPSRC-supported PhD students has developed a unique device for the early detection of plant disease.
Abundant bugs bring better apples
Apples from trees pollinated by insects are bigger, rounder, and more desirable than artificially pollinated ones, according to research funded by NERC.
Smelly plants could be natural pest control
Bombarding whiteflies with smells from different plants may stop them damaging crops, according to research from NERC-funded scientists.