WGRC collaborates in 22M cereal crops project funded by USAID


MANHATTAN —The Feed the Future Climate Resilient Cereals Innovational Lab (CRCIL) project, led by Kansas State University, aims to address the challenges posed by climate change on crop production. With a recent $22 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the project brings together U.S. and international partners to advance the breeding of four major world crops – sorghum, millet, wheat, and rice. One of the key players in this project is the Wheat Genetics Resource Center (WGRC) at Kansas State University. The WGRC will be contributing their extensive expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, and genome editing to the CRCIL project.

Future climatic conditions in many crop growing areas will soon be outside the adaptive range of existing varieties. Effective integration of innovations from diverse disciplines is needed to accelerate development of new climate-resilient varieties to mitigate climate impacts on crop production. The WGRC has extensive knowledge and experience in using the advanced genomics and bioinformatics approaches to sequence genomes and characterize whole-genome genetic diversity of thousands of plants. The WGRC will use these approaches in the CRCIL projects in collaboration with international partners to identify novel genes for improving crop agronomic performance under changing climatic conditions. Further, the WGRC will work with CRCIL partners to develop novel genomic assays and resources for accelerating the breeding process through access to centralized data management and decision-making tools.

More information about USAID’s Feed the Future program is available online.

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