Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UC Riverside Wins $4.8M for Rice Genomics

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have won $4.8 million in funding from the National Science Foundation to study the role that transposable elements (TE) could play in helping plants adapt to changes in climate.

The school will use the five-year grant to study rice, which is known for having a stable genome and for being the most grown human food crop on the planet.

The research team, which includes scientists from Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University, will use an Illumina HiSeq 2000 in the UCR Institute for Integrative Genome Biology genomics core to sequence the genomes and measure gene expression of rice varieties.

The scientists will use a transposon tagging system to track a mobile transposable element as it moves around in the rice genome and inserts itself into or near a gene to alter the gene's expression or function.

The project will study the effects of transposable elements on gene expression by comparing strains of rice with high and low copy numbers and their progeny from a genetic cross, and it will map the effects of these elements in specific regions in the genome.

"Thus far, only in rice do we see a TE increasing its copy number at an incredibly high rate," UCR genetics Professor Susan Wessler said in a statement.

"In this project we hope to understand how a TE is able to avoid a host's immunity," she said. "By studying many generations of rice plants, we may be able to find plants in which the host plant has recognized the active TE and turned its activity off."

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.