NSF PR 02-79 - September 26, 2002
NSF Awards $75.6M For Plant Genome Research
The National Science Foundation today awarded a total
of $75.6 million to support 23 collaborative research
projects in plant genomics.
Eight young investigators were also awarded a total
of $9.5 million under the inaugural Young Investigator
Awards in Plant Genome Research competition.
This year's competition emphasized collaborative research
in functional genomics, including development of tools
to facilitate gene expression studies. A project led
by the University of Arizona will develop new, sensitive
methods for measuring gene expression in specific
types of cells and parts of cells, while a project
led by the University of Alabama, Birmingham, will
develop new methods for analysis of gene expression
data on a genome-wide scale.
Two collaborative research awards were made to begin
isolation and sequencing of maize genes, one led by
the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis,
and the other led by Rutgers University in New Jersey.
In the Danforth Center project, scientists will test
two methods for isolating the gene-rich regions of
the maize genome, while the Rutgers research team
will sequence 20 million base pairs of the maize genome
and assemble the sequence onto a detailed map.
The Young Investigator Awards in Plant Genomics focuses
on the development of the future leaders in plant
genome research. Funded research includes development
of new computational tools to compare plant genomes,
analysis of genes involved in plant resistance to
pathogens, and genes involved in root and fruit development.
All the Young Investigator Award recipients have earned
doctorates since January 1997 and are at the beginning
of their independent research careers.
Plant genomic research provides the nation with scientific
understanding of the structure and function of genomes
of plants that are important to agriculture, environmental
management, energy, and health. Besides maize, researchers
will concentrate on other crops of economic importance
including potato, tomato, pine, cotton, soybean, rice,
For a list of FY 2002 awards, see: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/fy02plantgenomeawards.htm
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