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Danforth Center to Participate in $20M NSF-funded Climate Research Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced on Tuesday that it is part of a collaborative research project that was awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study the impact of climate variability, an effort that will include genomics research.

The other partners in the effort include the University of Missouri, Columbia; UM, Kansas City; UM, St. Louis; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Washington University in St. Louis; St. Louis University; the St. Louis Science Center; and Lincoln University.

The Danforth Center's participation will focus on plant phenomics, big data analytics, and community education and outreach. Todd Mockler, an associate member at the center, and Chris Topp, an assistant member, will perform a genome-scale analysis of drought resistance and water-use efficiency in maize using the center's Bellwether Foundation Phenotyping Facility, which opened last fall. Mockler's research will focus on the plant's shoots, while Topp's work will be directed at the roots.

Additionally, Doug Bryant, director of the Danforth Center's Bioinformatics Core Facility, will work with researchers from partner institutions to develop computational tools and resources to support the entire project. Terry Woodford-Thomas, a director of science education and outreach at the center, is leading a citizen science project and developing discovery-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning modules for students and teachers. Woodford-Thomas also will collaborate with peers from the St. Louis Science Center to create an interactive food and agriculture exhibit related to the Missouri Transect research project.