CNAP - Centre for Novel Agricultural Products                                            Biology to benefit society

The Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) uses cutting edge scientific methods and knowledge to harness the power of nature for the development of new products and processes to address some of the major global challenges of the 21st century. CNAP has been using excellent science to underpin industrial biotechnology for more than 15 years in projects that encompass plant and microbial sciences for the development of sustainable fuel, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and to enhance food security. CNAP provides a creative and enabling environment to around 80 staff and students, led by five professors:  Ian BancroftNeil Bruce, Katherine DenbyIan Graham and Simon McQueen-Mason (CNAP Director).

CNAP is committed to using world-leading bioscience to underpin progress towards providing sustainable supplies of food, energy and chemicals. Our work includes improving the quality and productivity of food crops, especially oil and fibre crops, as well as adding value to the non-food components of major crops. In addition to addressing science to underpin the establishment of sustainable biorefinery approaches to provision the supply of fuels and chemicals from plant biomass without compromising food security, our research also encompasses the development of plants for use in environmental decontamination. CNAP carries out research into both mainstream and so-called orphan crops that have been domesticated for centuries, but not yet subjected to intensive modern breeding.

Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, CNAP Director                          ‌‌‌‌‌

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Recent news:

Cooperation between East-West Seed and CNAP on supplying Artemisia.


GSK include CNAP research in their response to Government consultation.

Poppies growing in Tasmania. Photo by Carol Walker

Field trials planned for a type of grass that could help solve a growing environmental problem.

Amazing science from everyday plants.

An important step forward to realising potential to use plants to clean land contaminated by explosives taken by CNAP team.

Col7 and mdar6-1 100mgkg TNT

Scientists led by Ian Graham provide new insight into how poppy plants have evolved. Ian Graham is interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live, Science Podcast.

CNAP led SCPRID Resilient Rice project is showcased by RCUK India.

Rice grain on plant

New hybrid plant developed through the CNAP Artemisia project now registered as new variety in China.

Royal Society video available at link above.


CNAP scientists and colleagues aim to improve Brassica crops for challenging environments.

  Important step for improved manufacture of biofuels reported by CNAP team. 

Forces News TV interview Neil Bruce on his research into a plant-based solution to clean up soil pollution caused by explosives.

Continuing collaboration paves the way for a new generation of biofuels.

Celebration of world-leading bioscience - BBSRC profiles Simon and his work



News archive


Latest News

Welcoming Denby group

Brief introductions here.

Recognition of scientific excellence by EMBO

Ian Graham elected as a 2016 EMBO Member.

Ian Graham elected Fellow of Royal Society!

Congratulations to Ian on his election to the fellowship of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

Research accolade for Ian Graham

Congratulations to Ian, who is to receive the Biochemical Society's 2017 Heatley Medal and Prize in recognition of the quality and impact of his research.

New research on light-induced stomatal opening 

Discovery of critical process for stomatal opening in light published in Current Biology.

Thumbnail for version as of 21:10, 7 May 2005

Research led by CNAP helps in battle against ash dieback disease

Paper on identifying markers using associative transcriptomics published in Scientific Reports.

Video on the project available here.

A step closer to biodegradable lubricant made from oilseed rape

New crop could have huge implications for the global lubricant market.

Oilseed rape


CNAP Director, Professor Simon McQueen-Mason

CNAP Manager, Dr Caroline Calvert

CNAP, Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK