Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

NSF Grants Cornell $5.5M for Genome Editing in Rice

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Cornell University announced this week that scientists led by Adam Bogdanove have received a $5.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a gene editing project in rice.

The four-year grant will try to provide proof of concept that genome editing can be used to address important measurable agricultural traits in rice, including plant height, yield, disease resistance, and soil acidity tolerance. The scientists will develop a genome editing platform for crop breeding as well as new lines of rice expressing the improved traits.

Bogdanove said that the scientists have already identified particular stretches of DNA as candidates for the quantitative traits of interest.

The project will use data released in 2014 from an international project that sequenced 3,000 different rice genomes from around the world.

The grant did not mention the use of any particular genome editing technologies. Bogdanove is co-creator of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs); Daniel Voytas, a professor at the University of Minnesota, chief scientific officer at Cellectis Plant Sciences and co-developer of TALENs, is also listed as a co- investigator on the grant. Rice genetics researcher Susan McCouch is also a co-investigator and a professor at Cornell.

In 2011, the NSF awarded researchers at Cornell and the University of California, Riverside $4.8 million to study transposable elements in the rice genome.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.