NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation said today that it plans to provide up to $5 million for grants to support a joint microbial sequencing project with the US Department of Agriculture.
This funding will match the $5 million the USDA intends to grant for the program, which involves the high-throughput sequencing of the genomes of a number of microorganisms and developing ways to make that data more broadly available. Most of the grants will be for between $100,000 and $250,000 for periods of up to three years.
The program will be administered under the UDSA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, which will oversee the dispersal of between 15 and 20 awards.
Microbes of interest will include viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, oomycites, protists, and nematodes that possess agricultural importance.
The research will look into novel aspects of microbial biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, development and cellular biology; the diversity and the roles microorganisms play in complex ecosystems and in global geochemical cycles; the impact that microorganisms have on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and natural resources, and on the safety and quality of the nation's food supply; the organization and evolution of microbial genomes, and the mechanisms of transmission, exchange, and reshuffling of genetic information.
The deadline for full proposals for the awards is Feb. 19, 2008. More information can be found here.