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University of California
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More federal funds for California farm research

The economy is floundering, but federal money is still flowing. Last week, the U.S. Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced $7 million in grants for research on the biology of plant processes and traits which can be used to breed crops with greater value and resilience to climate stress, according to a USDA press release.

The release said $448,000 of the funds go to UC Davis, where scientists will use the money to better understand plant biology "from the genome to the field."

The "genome" refers to all of the hereditary information encoded in DNA. The phrase "genetic makeup" is sometimes used to mean the genome of a particular individual or organism.

In what may or may not be related to the USDA genome-to-field funding release, the National Science Foundation announced yesterday it has made 32 new awards totaling $101.6 million during the 12th year of its Plant Genome Research Program. The NSF news release says UC Davis and UC Berkeley will recive a share of the funding to address new, testable hypotheses for the mechanism of hybrid vigor in plants.

According to NSF, the development of genomics tools and sequence resources enables "exciting, new comparative approaches and predictive modeling to uncover gene networks that regulate plant development and growth in changing environments."

If that's the news release, can you imagine how complex the research reports must be?

USDA photo.
USDA photo.

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 7:10 AM
Tags: genome (2)

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