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UK-Brazil research partnerships to tackle anti-microbial and insect pest resistance in Brazilian agriculture

Copyright: Eraxion/iStock/Thinkstock
News from: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
News from: São Paulo Research Foundation
News from: UK-Brazil Year of Science

10 projects are to be funded by BBSRC and FAPESP through the Newton Fund's Joint Pump-Priming Awards for AMR and Insect Pest Resistance in Livestock and Agriculture.

The pump-priming awards bring together researchers across the UK and São-Paulo to tackle core challenges for anti-microbial resistance and resistance of insect pests in the Brazilian agriculture and livestock sectors. Many of the successful project partners were able to meet and develop ideas for their pump-priming proposals at a BBSRC-FAPESP partnership building workshop, held in São Paulo in October 2018.

10 collaborative projects are being funded, involving leading UK and São-Paulo-based bioscience research teams. The joint research will focus on resistance challenges impacting the livelihoods of Brazilian farmers and will address a range of important issues, from bovine mastitis and poultry productivity to pests of sugarcane and citrus trees.

A joint total of over £1 million has been awarded by BBSRC and FAPESP, whereby BBSRC will support project costs for the UK-based researchers, whilst FAPESP will support project costs for their São-Paulo-based partners.

The pump-priming awards are the first stage of the joint BBSRC-FAPESP Newton Fund programme; at the second stage, the award holders will be provided with an opportunity to apply for two years of extension funding to continue the partnerships and further the impact of the research outputs.

BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive, Steve Visscher said “BBSRC is delighted to build on its established partnership with FAPESP to support these 10 collaborative projects addressing a range of growing resistance problems in agriculture. These projects, and the joint workshop which preceded them, will further strengthen UK-Brazil scientific links.”

Prof Carlos Eduardo de Brito Cruz, FAPESP’s Scientific Director highlighted that “this call expands the research collaborations envisaged by FAPESP and BBSRC in themes of extreme relevance for agriculture in São Paulo and in Brazil. The announcement marks, in a timely way, the commemorations for the Brazil-UK Year of Science and Innovation.”

The 10 projects that have been funded are:

  1. Bovine Mastitis Control by Local Administration of Polyplex Nanoparticles

    Liam Good, Royal Veterinary College / Marcos Veiga Dos Santos, Fac Medicina Veterinaria Zootecnia, USP.

  2. Burkholderia species in sugarcane: the relationship among antifungal production, intrinsic antimicrobial resistance, and pest biocontrol

    Miguel Valvano, Queen's University of Belfast / Welington Luiz de Araujo, Inst Ciencias Biomedicas, USP.

  3. Understanding resistance of key crop pests in Brazil

    Chris Bass, University of Exeter / Celso Omoto, Esc Superior Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, USP.

  4. Overcoming insecticide resistance using diverse fungal pathogens and variable agricultural landscapes

    Luc Bussiere, University of Stirling / Ricardo Antonio Polanczyk, Fac Ciencias Agrarias Veterinarias Jaboticabal, UNESP.

  5. Antimicrobial resistance in Brazilian pig and poultry production and its contribution to the success of Salmonella serotypes

    Alison Mather, Quadrum Institute / Andrea Micke Moreno, Fac Medicina Veterinaria Zootecnia, USP.

  6. Combatting insect pests in major Brazilian Cropping Systems through novel Biotech Approaches

    Angharad Gatehouse, Newcastle University / Fernando Luis Consoli, Esc Superior Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, USP.

  7. Xanthomonas citri subsp citri citrus tree cankers in Sao Paulo : molecular epidemiology and assessment of lytic bacteriophage as biocontrol agents

    Mark Enright, Manchester Metropolitan University / Henrique Ferreira, Inst Biociencias Rio Claro, UNESP.

  8. Understanding the role of host-pathogen interactions and the impact of management system on antimicrobial resistance in Brazilian livestock systems

    Caroline Rymer, University of Reading / Helder Louvandini, Centro Energia Nuclear Agricultura, USP.

  9. Understanding evolution of fungicide resistance in wheat blast field populations in Brazil; can we learn lessons for future disease management?

    Bart Fraaije, Rothamsted Research / Paulo Cezar Ceresini, Fac Engenharia Ilha Solteira, UNESP.

  10. Chemical study of insect-plant interactions: a contribution to biorational control of crop pests

    Toby Bruce, Keele University / Maria Fatima Das Gracas Fernandes da Silva, Centro Ciencias Exatas Tecnologia, UFSCAR.


Note to editors

For further information on this research programme, please visit the BBSRC-FAPESP Joint Pump-Priming Awards for AMR and Insect Pest Resistance in Livestock and Agriculture call for research proposals funding page.

About the Newton Fund

The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 18 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.

The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 15 UK delivery partners, which include the research councils, the UK academies, the British Council, Innovate UK and the Met Office.

Follow the Newton Fund on Twitter: @NewtonFund.


Founded in 1962, the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is one of Brazil’s most important science and technology funding agencies. Maintained by the transfer of 1% of the state’s tax revenue, FAPESP selects and supports research projects submitted by scientists affiliated with higher education and research institutions in São Paulo State in all knowledge areas - sciences, technology and engineering, as well as the arts and humanities.

Projects are selected by peer review based on assessments by Brazilian and foreign researchers not associated with FAPESP. The Foundation also supports research in areas considered strategic through programs on such themes as biodiversity, global climate change, and bioenergy.

In 2017 FAPESP disbursed R$1.1 billion, equivalent to $514.6 million in purchasing power parity (PPP), to fund scientific and technological research projects.

UK-Brazil Year of Science

The UK Brazil Year of Science & Innovation 2018/19 is a yearlong celebration between the UK & Brazilian government of existing science and innovation partnerships including under our £75 million Newton Fund, Prosperity Fund and International Climate Fund on agritech, energy, life sciences and climate.

Linked to the UK’s Industrial Strategy and clean growth Grand Challenge, the year also aims to foster new sector deals including joint public-private partnerships in energy and life sciences. Events will include an energy showcase, a series of British Nobel Science Laureate lectures, life sciences debates, Famelab science popularisation and Women in Science events and four new energy centres launched between Shell and FAPESP - the State of São Paulo Research funding agency.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.

Tags: food security funding Newton Fund international UKRI partnerships BBSRC press release