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NSF Funds NY Plant Genomics

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A group of New York-based researchers will use a grant of $3.8 million from the National Science Foundation to continue to develop a plant genomics knowledge resource.
The funding to the New York Plant Genome Consortium will support further development of BigPlant v1.0, a computer-based phylogenetic tree that includes 22,833 sets of genes from 150 different seed plant species, New York University said on Monday.

The BigPlant resource enables analysis of all currently sequenced plant genomes in a phylogenetic framework according to their evolutionary history. The goal of this research program is to develop and use the resource to discover genes that evolved and eventually gave rise to important traits, such as the development of seeds.

The researchers plan to use the BigPlant resource to generate data and tools for making gene-to-gene predictions about genes that are involved in the evolution of traits in a variety of plant species. Ideally, this information could then be used to identify genes that may be valuable in crop plants or of some other economic value.

Along with scientists at NYU's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, the research team will include the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Garden, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and at NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.