NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A team led by researchers from Michigan State University has been awarded a $6.5 million grant by the US Department of Agriculture to develop genomic tools and technologies for creating disease-resistant cucurbit crops.

The Cucurbitaceae family includes a number of high-value crop plants such as watermelons, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. While Cucurbitaceae crops generate an estimated $1.7 billion a year in farm gate value in the US, viral and fungal pathogens remain a significant hurdle to their cultivation.

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NPR reports that Turkish high school students will no longer study evolution.

Researchers report they sequenced and identified plant species in an "al fresco" laboratory.

An Australian team searches for genetic alterations linked to depression in hopes of developing personalized treatments, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

In PNAS this week: host contributors to typhoid fever risk, effects of obesity-related variants near TMEM18, and more.

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