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2 pioneering plant genomics efforts given a funding boost by National Science Foundation
Date:9/6/2012

Cold Spring Harbor, NY With research in plant biology "at a tipping point," in the words of a leading investigator, two pathbreaking efforts by scientists interested in making comparisons across and within sequenced plant genomes have been given a significant funding boost and vote of confidence from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF has announced that it will make a new research award to fund a project called Gramene for a 5-year period. The previous two awards to Gramene by the NSF were in 4-year cycles. In conjunction with the new award NSF will make new funds available to the Gramene project for developing a Plant Reactome, which serves to increase Gramene's functionality. The Plant Reactome will be modeled based on the Human Reactome project framework developed for the human genome, and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will join NSF in supporting this portion of the work.

Doreen Ware, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), is the principal investigator of the Gramene project. She says the new funding is particularly timely given the acute need for biologists to integrate uniquely valuable but often scattered bits of genomic and related data.

The urgency to maximize knowledge derived from plant genome data is clear: crop breeders are faced with the challenge of boosting yields to keep pace with surging global population, as well as with environmental pressures and changing climate patterns.

"By honing resources like Gramene," Ware says, "we are bringing to bear the knowledge and hidden insights that leading-edge information technology makes visible in order to serve the needs that plant biologists have in generating ever more sophisticated analyses of experimental data."

This convergence of curated data and the forging of new knowledge about biologi
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Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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