Biotech Updates

USDA Funds Agricultural Plant Genomics, Genetics and Breeding Research

October 16, 2009

More than $7 million in grants will be awarded to 14 universities in the USA by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) program. The grant will be used to conduct research in the understanding of plant biology from the genome to the field, and provide a foundation for the development of plant varieties with increased yield, reduced production cost, and enhanced quality, the article said.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who stressed the importance of the research grant to solve the  problems of food shortage and climate change. "At a time when disruptive climate change threatens production of some of the world's staple foods, some of the biggest gains we can make in ending world hunger will involve development of stress-resistant crops," he said. "Drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, and saline-resistant crops will not only offer tremendous improvements for farmers around the world, but also position American farmers competitively in the world market."

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