NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture said this week that their interagency Microbial Genome Sequencing program will support between fifteen and twenty investigators in the coming year.
The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service of USDA and the NSF expect to spend around $10 million total — each contributing around $5 million — with awards ranging between $100,000 and $1,200,000. The agencies said that fiscal 2009 will be the last year for the program.
NSF and USDA expect the genome sequences generated by grantees to be available to a community of investigators and to be used to “address issues of specific and societal importance,” according to the CSREES funding announcement.
These projects will include high-throughput sequencing of genomes of plasmids, viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, oomycetes, protists, microeukaryotes, and agriculturally important nematodes.
Researchers could pursue studies of novel aspects of microbial biochemistry, physiology, and metabolism, and of the roles microorganisms play in ecosystems and geochemical cycles. These programs also could aim to discover the impact microorganisms have on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and natural resources, as well as the safety of food supplies. Investigators also may study the organization and evolution of microbial genomes, and the mechanisms of transmission, exchange, and reshuffling of genetic information.
More information about the Microbial Genome Sequencing Program grants is available here.