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NSF Awards University of Oklahoma Researchers $7.5 Million for Tomato Sequencing Effort

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Oklahoma announced today that it has received a $7.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support its tomato genome sequencing work.

The university's Advanced Center for Genome Technology is part of an international project to sequence the genome of Heinz1706 — a tomato variety grown around the world.

American members of the group, including researchers from OU, the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, and the University of Colorado, have reportedly been tasked with generating sequence for tomato chromosomes 1 and 10.

Those involved say the tomato sequencing work holds promise for everything from understanding the plant's biology to improving its yield and growth characteristics.

"The tomato has tremendous agriculture importance, so improving the tomato and crop yields will improve quality of life," University of Oklahoma researcher Bruce Roe, who is heading the tomato genome project at ACGT, said in a statement.

The tomato sequencing project falls under a larger plant genomics effort called the International Solanaceae Genome Initiative, or SOL, which is investigating the genetics and genomics of the tomato and other members of the Solanaceae family. Plant genomics researchers participating in SOL were among those awarded more than $100 million in funding by NSF this fall.

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