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Two Blades Wins $2.3M Grant to Fund Plant Immunity Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced today that it has awarded the Two Blades Foundation a $2.3 million grant that will be used to support four research programs around plant immunity.

According to the foundation, Two Blades will distribute the money to research groups at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of California, Berkeley; the Sainsbury Laboratory; and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.

These teams will investigate the mechanisms used by three major agricultural plant systems — Brassicas, nightshades, and domestic wheat and related species — to resist infection by disease-causing pathogens. They will also create a publicly available database of sequence information of the plants studied.

"This research has the potential to be a game-changer in our understanding of how plants combat pathogens in the face of continual evolution," Gary Greenburg, program officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, said in a statement. "If it is successfully carried out, the project will result in an unprecedented level of fundamental knowledge about the genes that control disease resistance in plants."