$30M for Sorghum Crop Development
News Jun 22, 2015
The funding is directed at the development of better varieties of sorghum through improved plant remote sensing, analysis, and breeding methods. It is being provided through DOE's Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) program, which leverages agriculture, information technology, and engineering to develop crops that are sustainable and affordable and yield abundant feedstocks for bioenergy.
The recipients of the TERRA funds seek to address limitations associated with crop phenotyping and genotyping by developing mobile platforms with sensory systems to observe and record plant characteristics, DOE said. They will also develop algorithms to analyze data and predict plant growth potential.
The TERRA program will also fund the creation of a large database comprising sorghum genotypes and field phenotypes, which DOE said will allow the larger community of plant physiologists, bioinformaticians, and geneticists to improve sorghum and bioenergy crops.
The TERRA grant recipients include researchers from Clemson University ($6 million); Donald Danforth Plant Science Center ($8 million); Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ($3.3 million); Purdue University ($6.5 million); Texas A&M AgriLife Research ($3.1 million); and the University ofIllinois at Urbana-Champaign ($3.1 million).
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.