Biotech Updates

KSU Scientists Awarded $5.5 Million for Wheat and Rice Blast Research

May 2, 2013

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the 2012 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Food Security program awarded US$ 5.5 million to Kansas State University research team led by Barbara Valent. The team will develop novel disease control strategies to world's most important staple crops rice and wheat against blast disease.

"Our goal is to leverage this knowledge as part of an integrated approach to improve U.S. rice production and protect the nation's wheat crop, through the development of resistant varieties." Valent said. The research group will use traditional strategies for finding and deploying resistance genes, as well as novel strategies based on new knowledge generated by research on rice blast. Diagnostic tools, training resources for first detectors and responders and a disease forecasting model are the other outcomes of the project.

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