Budget 2000 Plant Genome Research
NSF Fiscal Year 2000
Budget Requests Excerpts

Plant Genome Research


   The FY 2000 Budget Request for the Plant Genome Research Subactivity is $55.00 million, an increase of $5.0 million,or 10.0 percent, over the FY 1999 Current Plan of $50.0 million.

(Millions of Dollars)
  FY 1998
FY 1999
FY 2000
Plant Genome Research Projects $40.00 $50.00 $55.00 $5.00 10.0%
TOTAL, PGR $40.00 $50.00 $55.00 $5.00 10.0%

NSF's Plant Genome Research Subactivity (PGR) was established in FY1998 as part of a National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI), building upon an existing base of genome research supported throughout the BIO Activity. PGR supports research that advances our understanding of the structure, organization and function of plant genomes, and that accelerates utilization of new knowledge and innovative technologies toward a more complete understanding of basic biological processes in plants. This increased emphasis on plant genomics will radically change fundamental plant science research and its application to agriculture, forestry, energy and environment, as well as the production of pharmaceuticals and other plant-based industrial materials and chemicals.

Since the program's inception in FY 1998, support has been provided for research on structural and functional genomics, and for strengthening the research infrastructure necessary for robust plant genomics research. Within the short time of its existence, PGR has dramatically energized the plant genome research community. The 23 initial groups of awardees have been networking and coordinating their activities to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness to the benefit of the scientific community. One of the projects funded in FY 1998 aims to develop a series of research resources and tools for the discovery and analysis of all the genes in corn. Taking advantage of fundamental genetic knowledge accumulated over the years, this group has developed a method to generate a large population of corn plants that will contain a mutation in each of the estimated 50,000 genes present in corn. The plants can then be screened to identify specific genes that encode for a trait of interest. The group is developing research tools to allow easy screening, identification, isolation, and characterization of specific genes. All information and biological materials and tools developed during the project will be made available to the research community in a timely fashion. It is expected that this project will significantly affect plant genomics research as well as the development of new corn varieties with increased economic value. FY 1998 funds were also provided for accelerated sequencing of the genome of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Arabidopsis genome sequencing will be completed by the end of calendar year 2000.

The FY 2000 Budget Request includes an increase of $5.0 million for a total of $55.0 million to continue these activities with an increased focus on:

  • Functional genomics: Taking advantage of the massive plant genomics datasets and resources now being generated, plant biologists will address unanswered fundamental questions in plant biology such as how plants sense environmental signals (including freezing temperature and drought), or how plants synthesize products useful to humans, such as starch, lipids, vitamins, and fiber.

  • Training in plant genomics: Graduate and undergraduate training is interwoven into all plant genome awards. As a result, a new generation of scientists will be trained to use the power of genomics to advance plant science in both fundamental and applied fields.

Table of Contents         Previous Page