NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — The National Science Foundation said this week that it has awarded $10 million in grants to 11 research groups developing new genomic tools for genetic research in a range of different species.
The funding comes through the NSF's Enabling Discovery through Genomic Tools (EDGE) program, which was established to support the development and dissemination of functional genomic tools and techniques for genome manipulation in model organisms. Last year, the agency announced $20 million in EDGE grants in two separate funding rounds.
Among the recipients of the latest EDGE grants are a team from the University of Colorado, Boulder that is developing tools for studying gene function in voles; a group from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst that is studying genetic transformation of chytrid fungi; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists creating tools to study Spiralian development; and a University of California, Davis team that is developing functional genomics resources in Hydra to study stem cells and regeneration.
Other recipients include a University of Maryland, College Park team that is developing functional genetics tools to link genes with phenotypes in cichlid fish; a University of Georgia team working on genome editing and transgenic tools for Anolis lizards; a Donald Danforth Plant Science Center group working on a method to identify products of homologous recombination in crop plants; Stanford University scientists developing techniques for linking genotype to phenotype in amphibians; a Marine Biological Laboratory group creating a genetically tractable cephalopod model using the Hawaiian bobtail squid; University of Georgia researchers developing functional genomics tools for use in monkeyflowers; and an Iowa State University team creating functional genomics resources for Polistes wasps.
"This research represents a grand challenge in biology and is part of a bigger effort within our field to better predict how organismal traits arise from genetic variation in natural environments," EDGE Program Director Ted Morgan said in a statement. "Building this fundamental understanding of how genetic changes are connected with organismal traits has a range of significant societal benefits that include predicting organismal responses to changing environments, the development of more effective conservation efforts, the development of new medical approaches, new therapeutics, and better crop yields."