Accessibility statement

News archive:

  • Welcoming Denby group

Brief introductions here.

  • Recognition of scientific excellence by EMBO

Ian Graham elected as a 2016 EMBO Member.

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

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.

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

Oilseed rape 

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



GSK include CNAP research in their response to Government consultation.

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.

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


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

 New study by international team offers insights into the underpinning molecular processes of this important crop species.

CNAP scientists led by Ian Graham report development of hemp plants yielding high quality oil for use in cooking and industrial applications.

  • New industry-academia networks led by CNAP  BBSRC have just announced funding awards for Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB). Two of these will be led by CNAP professors - Plant Biomass Biorefinery Network (Simon McQueen-Mason); High Value Chemicals from Plants Network (Ian Graham). 

£10m funding has been awarded for major projects led by CNAP professors. Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC's Chief Executive, stated: "This public funding offers long-term support to address major research challenges, while building research capacity in important areas and maximising economic and social benefits for the UK."

  • Key blackgrass resistance gene discovered  BBSRC report a recent discovery by a CNAP team led by Rob Edwards along with colleagues at the University of Durham: the gene AmGSTF1 plays a key role in controlling multi-herbicide resistance in blackgrass and ryegrass.

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

CNAP scientists led by Ian Graham have found that a regulator gene called SPATULA can control the expression of five other genes known to affect when a seed germinates. A report on the work has just been published in the PNAS journal early online edition.


Researchers in CNAP together with colleagues at the University of Portsmouth and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the USA have determined the structure and function of a key enzyme used by gribble to digest wood. An article by the team has just been published in the journal PNAS.

Research by CNAP and the University's Centre for Immunology and Infection (CII) published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry demonstrates that natural dietary flavonoids have a wide range of effects, with important implications for diet and in the development of new pharmaceuticals. 

The University of York and Fera have announced a new joint venture: an Initiative in Agrifood Resilience. The initative brings together their scientific expertise to address the key challenges of food security and environmental sustainability amid unprecedented global challenges in the agri-food supply chain. Rob Edwards leads the initiative.

  • Master gene makes weeds invincible  New Scientist journal article features work by Rob Edwards and his team to address the problems posed by the presence of herbicide resistant weeds such as black-grass and annual ryegrass in cereal crops. An in-depth report by the team has just been published in the journal PNAS.
  • Vice-Chancellor's awards for outstanding achievement

Congratulations to the CNAP poppy team led by Ian Graham for their Excellence award and to Simon McQueen-Mason for his Internationalisation award in the prestigious, university-wide scheme, the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Achievement 2013.


  • New academic appointments in Plant Biology at York  We are delighted to announce that the Department of Biology at the University of York will be welcoming three new Plant Biology colleagues in the coming months, including Professor Ian Bancroft, currently at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, who will join CNAP in August 2013.  Ian's research is focussed on understanding genome structure, function and evolution in the Brassicaceae, plus the genetic regulation of seed storage lipid accumulation and other traits relevant to sustainability of the UK oilseed rape crop. The other Plant Biology colleagues joining the Department will be Professor Seth Davis and Dr Michael Haydon.
  • Shortlisted for BBSRC Innovator of the Year award  Ian Graham was a finalist in the Social Innovator of the Year category, and was nominated for his work applying molecular breeding approaches to create improved varieties of pharmaceutical crops.
  • Video feature: meet the gribbles  Tiny bugs could supply the enzymes needed for modern bioenergy - Simon McQueen-Mason and Will Eborall of CNAP describe their ongoing research.

Researchers from the UK, USA and India led by CNAP begin a major project to develop new strains of rice to to meet challenging weather conditions. Video feature describes the project. 

rice on plant

  • New Marie Curie Network, P4FIFTY  CNAP's Neil Bruce leads a new EU funded interdisciplinary training network including academics and industry, aiming to develop enzymatic methods for green oxidation chemistry.

P4fifty logo

  • Sowing the seeds of hope  Feature article in York newspaper, The Press, on the poppy research of Ian Graham and his team.
  • ITV News interview   CNAP scientists have discovered the key to production of a chemical called noscapine in poppies. Report and interview with Ian Graham.
  • CNAP / Brazil collaboration  The first BBSRC-Fapesp funded project has been awarded to Neil Bruce and Simon McQueen-Mason of CNAP. The award supports work to identify new enzymes that can be used in the breakdown of lignin and lignocellulose for the production of liquid biofuels. More details can be found on the BBSRC website. The BBSRC-Fapesp scheme is also described.


 artemisia Growth Room

New partnership to improve seed supplies of vital anti-malarial plant  At the Artemisinin Conference in Hanoi, the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP), at the University of York, and East-West Seed announced a new partnership to ensure that high yielding seeds from improved varieties of Artemisia annua will rapidly be made available for global cultivation.

 gold award-news

Vice Chancellor's Gold Award for Excellence 2011 won by CNAP Artemisia research team  This award to the CNAP Artemisia research team, led by Dianna Bowles and Ian Graham, is for the team's successful and highly professional contribution to the global sustainability and delivery of artemisinin supplies for treatment of malaria


Green factories: York biologists benefitting society  University of York Communications Office item on the work of CNAP (University of York home page, January 2011):


Biology to benefit society: dedicated teams in specialised labs achieve impressive success  An article on the work of CNAP was released in the inaugural (November 2010) issue of Public Service Review: UK Science and Technology, a new Public Service Review science focused journal. 

The CNAP item can be downloaded here:


University of York shortlisted for four major awards  The University has been nominated in the International Collaboration of the Year category for the work of Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) on its Artemisia Research Project.

 gene discovery-news

Gene discovery could help to boost crop yields  A discovery by scientists at the University of York of a vital feature of a plant's temperature sensing and growth mechanism could help to increase yields from crops.



Latest News

Researchers discovered how catmint evolved to intoxicate cats!

  • Neil Bruce took over as CNAP Director in January 2020
  • CNAP celebrated its 20th anniversary in December 2019!

Ian Graham interviewed on Radio 5 live and podcast

Secret to making renewable energy from wood? The digestive system of the gribble may hold the key!

2 new Networks in Industrial Biotechnology awarded! Congratulations to Ian Graham and Simon McQueen-Mason, who will each lead a phase II NIBB.

New bioeconomy initiative launch in York BioYork established.

Poppy genome decoded DNA code of the opium poppy genome determined.

Poppy (x70)

Strengthening links with India: 2 major new research projects Funding secured by CNAP PIs.

Oilseed rape


CNAP Director, Professor Neil Bruce

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