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USDA Gives 14 Institutes $5M to Encourage Genomic Tool Use in Rice Cultivation

NEW YORK, Dec. 14 (GenomeWeb News) - The US Department of Agriculture has awarded 14 institutions $5 million to help support the use of genome-based tools to improve rice crops, the agency said yesterday.


The 14 groups are: the University of Arkansas; the USDA-Agricultural Research Service; the University of California, Berkeley; Kansas State University; the University of Missouri; Louisiana State University; University of California, Davis; Ohio State University; Colorado State University; the Noble Foundation in Oklahoma; the California Rice Research Foundation; the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines; and Cornell University.


The Universityof Arkansaswill coordinate the effort, the USDA said.

"USDA is committed to unlocking the benefits of genome research," Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in a statement posted on the USDA's website. "This grant will support critical research to better understand the genetic makeup of rice with the goal of improving milling quality and resistance to sheath blight disease."

The grant came from the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service's National Research Initiative. Its goal is to develop "improved US rice cultivars, and the building of a community of researchers trained in the application of new genomics-based tools to address the issue of quantitative inheritance in rice," Joseph Jen, USDA undersecretary for research, education, and economics, said in the statement.

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