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NSF highlights opportunities in plant synthetic biology


February 21, 2020

Synthetic biology has the potential to enable new ways of studying basic plant processes involving multiple genes. These methods and tools could accelerate the translation of knowledge into real-world application in, for example, engineering metabolic pathways, advancing agriculture and contributing to solutions that solve environmental problems. To realize these potential outcomes, there is a need to develop new vectors, platforms and methods for plant genetic modification that are easy to use and widely available.

NSF has current programs in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Directorate for Engineering (ENG) that offer support for proposals that advance the growing field of plant synthetic biology, including support for basic research, tool development and applications; and that emphasize the potential outcomes with benefits to society.

Learn more in Dear Colleague Letter: Plant Synthetic Biology (NSF 20-045).

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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