DOE and USDA award $12.6 million in research grants for feedstock genomics

July 17, 2014 |

In Washington, the DOE and USDA announced the selection of 10 projects that will receive funding aimed at accelerating genetic breeding programs to improve plant feedstocks for the production of biofuels, biopower and biobased products.

The $12.6 million in research grants are awarded under a joint DOE-USDA program that began in 2006 focused on fundamental investigations of biomass genomics, with the aim of harnessing nonfood plant biomass for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. Dedicated feedstock crops tend to require less intensive production practices and can grown on poorer quality land than food crops, making this a critical element in a strategy of sustainable biofuels production that avoids competition with crops grown for food.

The projects are located in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia. DOE’s Office of Science will provide $10.6 million in funding for eight projects, while USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will award $2 million to fund two projects.  Initial funding will support research projects for up to three years.  The full list of awardees and project descriptions can be found online at: http://genomicscience.energy.gov/research/.

 

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