AgResearch Structural Biology Laboratory

Providing a new atom’s eye view in solving major farming challenges

Biologists often aim to retain the benefits of a natural process while eliminating any harm. Naturally occurring in most New Zealand pastoral grasses, the fungus Neotyphodium lolii confers to the grass valuable drought and insect resistance, but can also cause neurological problems, called ryegrass staggers, in livestock. Current strategies to address this use traditional selective grass breeding. But the AgResearch Structural Biology Laboratory, owned by New Zealand's largest Crown Research Institute and based at the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB), is now seeking a more certain remedy based on the insights of structural biology.