Crop Science

The James Hutton Institute’s Dundee site is hailed as a global centre for crop genetics research, underpinned by some of the best characterised and most diverse germplasm collections in the world. 

Home to the Commonwealth Potato Collection and burgeoning populations of barley, soft fruit and brassica, these collections are used to identify desirable genes for valuable traits. These traits include not only pest and disease resistance, yield improvement and increased abiotic stress tolerance, but also improved nutritional quality, flavour, texture or shelf life. 

James Hutton Limited works with customers to:

  • Develop molecular markers for traits of interest 
  • Develop new breeding technologies based on a greater understanding of the control of recombination in crops
  • Understand plant/pathogen interactions
  • Association genetics 
  • Linking genotype to phenotype through the development of genetic linkage maps


Crop science research is regularly supported through contract research projects managed by James Hutton Limited.  Recent projects include, 'Strategies to reduce waste due to greening in potato tubers' and, 'Improving yield stability in UK blueberry production'.


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Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that involves the development and application of computational methods for the analysis of large-scale biological data ranging.
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Improving science and society through an understanding of variation, uncertainty and risk.
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James Hutton Limited manages a number of collaborative projects with industry partners who seek to benefit from scientific research and innovations.
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GIS is the backbone of 21st century environmental planning and decision making; knowing where to make changes, what to expect, how to measure impacts and interventions, all rely on good GIS.
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The analysis of a wide range of stable isotopes, bulk and compound specific analysis of light isotopes including, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen, and heavy isotopes, including Strontium, Neodymium, Samarium and Lead.
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Molecular Diagnostic tests can detect specific sequences in plant DNA or RNA that may be associated with disease resistance, quality/agronomic traits and varietal issues.
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Breeders and scientists at James Hutton Limited and the James Hutton Institute use advanced breeding techniques supported by world-leading scientific expertise, ensuring the most innovative soft fruit and potato varieties.
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The James Hutton Institute, and its predecessor organisations, is synonymous with soils with over 90 years experience of working with soils and farmers, as well as being responsible for the National Soils Database for Scotland.

Case Studies

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Diagnostic testing for Free-Living Nemataodes.