Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

USDA Awards $10M to Researchers Developing DNA Tools for Rosaceous Crops

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire said on Wednesday that it is among 14 US institutions who will share a five-year, $10 million grant to develop and apply DNA-based tools to improve the quality of and disease resistance in rosaceous crops.

The project called RosBREED: Combining Disease Resistance with Horticultural Quality in New Rosaceous Cultivars brings together 35 researchers from 14 US institutions, as well as international collaborators, to apply genomic and genetic technologies in the breeding of rosaceous crops. The researchers will adapt and demonstrate new DNA-based tools in 22 US breeding programs with a focus on apple, blackberry, peach, pear, rose, strawberry, sweet cherry, and tart cherry.

The US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Specialty Crop Research Initiative awarded the grant, which is being managed by researchers at Michigan State University and Washington State University.

"This project includes our team's recently established strawberry breeding program funded through the Experiment Station at UNH, which aims to release new varieties bred for local growers and markets while being resistant to disease and suitable for organic production," said Tom Davis, a professor of plant biology and genetics in the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.

UNH noted that the US is the world's leading producer of strawberries, with 3 billion pounds valued at $2.4 billion 2012, according to the USDA.

The NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH's original research organization and was founded in 1887. It directs federal and state funding for research aimed at sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources, and rural community topics.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.