NEW YORK, May 16-The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on May 14 that would bolster research into plant genomics.
The bill directs the National Science Foundation to establish regional plant genome and gene expression research centers, and promote international plant biotechnology research projects. It was sponsored by California representative Mary Bono.
These new genome centers would be underwritten with $9 million for fiscal year 2002 and $13.5 million for each of the two following fiscal years.
Nonprofit institutes and universities would host the centers, but the bill's language encourages partnerships with for-profit companies in the developing world. The bill emphasizes projects designed to improve crops important to developing countries.
It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.