Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows

We focus on optimising the sustainable yield and biomass composition of perennial non-food crops (especially willows) for bioenergy, biofuels and other industrial products, within the constraints of low-input cropping systems and land-use scenarios that minimise conflicts with food production, ecological and environmental impacts.

Our research is part of the Cropping Carbon ISPG. We focus on optimising the sustainable yield and biomass composition of perennial non-food crops (especially willows) for bioenergy, biofuels and other industrial products, within the constraints of low-input cropping systems and land-use scenarios that minimise conflicts with food production, ecological and environmental impacts.

Our research connects fundamental approaches, such as identification of genes and molecular markers, with delivery of improved willows for national and international markets and include: agronomy, breeding, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and genomics. We collaborate with North Wyke, the departments of Soils and Grassland Systems and Computational and Systems Biology and the Delivering Sustainable Systems ISPG, as well as many external institutions and commercial partners.

Major themes include; Cropping Carbon; Willow breeding; Willow genetics and genomics: Collaborative bioenergy and biofuels projects

In willow we have unique resources:

  • National Willow Collection
  • 12 Mapping populations
  •  2 Reference trials

In Miscanthus and other energy grasses we have long-term field experiments