Buckner Awarded NSF Funding for Collaboration with Iowa State Researchers

Brent Buckner, professor of biology, recently received notification that a proposal entitled “Functional structural diversity among maize haplotype” submitted to the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Initiative has been funded.

Buckner is a co-principal investigator on this award and will collaborate with principal investigator Dr. Patrick Schnable and co-principal investigators Dr. Carolyn Lawrence and Dr. Daniel Nettleton, all of Iowa State University.

During the two-year grant period Buckner’s lab will receive $188,000 while the entire collaborative grant is funded at $3 million.

The focus of this proposal is to test the hypothesis that differences in gene copy number (both gains and losses) contribute to the extraordinary phenotypic diversity and plasticity of maize.

The proposed studies will ultimately inform crop improvement strategies. For example, to help adapt crops to climate change it may be desirable to reintroduce into breeding germplasm stress resistance genes and genetic diversity inadvertently lost during domestication.

This grant will provide funding for three student research internships in each of the next two summers. In addition, the grant provides for the hiring of a postdoctoral teacher-scholar who will work with Buckner to develop the professional skills that are consistent with success at a predominantly undergraduate institution where teaching and research are mutually supportive.
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