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Dr Brian Murphy


Brian Murphy, Research Fellow



The discovery and commercialisation of crop-beneficial microorganisms.

My current research focuses on the discovery and commercialisation of a class of plant-associated microorganisms called endophytes. These endophytes spend all or part of their lives within plant tissue without causing any visible symptoms. Research collaborations between Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin over the last 6-7 years have resulted in the discovery and patenting of a set of endophytes that have potential for increasing cereal crop yield. We have carried out extensive controlled environment and field trials with the most important arable crop in Ireland, barley. These tests have demonstrated that using endophytes as crop inoculants can reduce economic and environmental costs, with significant benefits for the farmer. Enterprise Ireland have recognised and supported this potential by funding the current 3-year project, which will culminate in the launch of a start-up company to market our ground-breaking technology. We will also further validate the current successful strains and discover new strains of beneficial microorganisms for a broader range of cereal and other crops. Over the next 3 years we will be working with research and commercial partners to ensure the success of this project. Previous work which laid the foundation for the project was funded by a TCD research award and Science Foundation Ireland.

Research and Publication Profiles