NEW YORK, Oct. 26 (GenomeWeb News) - The National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture together will award approximately $15 million in grants in 2005 to support genetic sequencing of microorganisms, according to a recent NSF program solicitation.
NSF and the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service seek research proposals for high-throughput sequencing of the genomes of microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, oomycetes, protists, and agriculturally important nematodes.
An estimated 20 to 30 grants will be awarded, with most ranging between $100,000 and $2.5 million, for periods of up to three years, the agencies said. NSF will contribute around $10 million of the total funding, while USDA will provide $5 million.
According to the solicitation, the sequences are expected to be made available and used by investigators to address issues such as "novel aspects of microbial chemistry, physiology, metabolism, development, and cellular biology; the diversity and the roles microorganisms play in complex ecosystems and global geochemical cycles; the impact that microorganisms have on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and natural resources, and on the safety of the nation's food supply; and the organization and evolution of microbial genomes, and the mechanisms of transmission, exchange, and reshuffling of genetic information."
Full proposals are due by Feb. 4, 2005. The full solicitation can be seen here.