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Alcorn receives the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program Award

Alcorn State University was among five colleges and universities that were first-time recipients of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) award. The grant is for five years at $3,828,145 and Alcorn will receive $599,138.

The PGRP’s main purpose is to advance the understanding of the structure and function of genomes of plants of economic importance, such as corn, cotton, rice, soybean, tomato and wheat. The NSF has given 28 new awards totaling $101.9 million during the 13th year of its Plant Genome Research Program. These awards support research and tool development to further the knowledge of genome structure and function.

“The project has multiple stages and involves five institutions, each with its own component,” stated Dr. Brian Scheffler, Alcorn adjunct professor, Research Leader of the Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Unit at USDA-ARS, Stoneville, Mississippi. “Our component has two parts: the first is to start the process of determining the DNA sequence of the cotton genome and identify gene networks that regulate cotton fiber development. The second is outreach within the Mississippi Delta to bring plant genomics into the classroom, specifically to grades seven through twelve.”