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NSF Funds Kansas State Wheat Genetics Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation has provided seed funding to launch a genetics research resource at Kansas State University that will work with partners at Colorado State University and the agricultural technology industry to improve production and disease resistance in wheat and other crop plants, Kansas State said today.

The new center, which NSF will fund with around $100,000 per-year for five years, already houses a collection of germ-plasm and and genetic tools that are used in applied breeding programs around the world, Kansas State said.

The new NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Wheat Genetics will build upon resources that are already in place at Kansas State's Wheat Genetics Resource Center, and it will serve as a training ground for graduate students and young investigators.

The current gene bank, which houses about 14,000 wild wheat species strains and around 10,000 genetic stocks, and its accompanying lab will be moved to the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kan.

This center will work with its partners to develop new ways to use wheat genetic diversity to provide novel traits in elite genotypes that may be used to reduce the market-ready time of wheat crops, and it will develop methods and traits for use in breeding programs and for sustainable and profitable farming.

Along with Colorado State, the Center for Wheat Genetics' partners include Bayer CropScience; Syngenta; Dow AgroSciences; Limagrain; General Mills; the Heartland Plant Innovation Center; the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Wheat Alliance.

Kansas State said this center is the first NSF-established research center for any crop plants.

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