USDA Announces $7.2 Million for Research on Plant-Biotic Interactions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 10 grants totaling $7.2 million for research on the interactions of plants, microbes, and invertebrates. This is the first round of grants awarded through the Plant-Biotic Interactions program, a joint funding opportunity established through a partnership between NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NIFA funding is made possible through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The research to be supported by these grants will help reveal the mechanisms that govern how plants interact with the world around them,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The expectation is that NIFA investments will result in tools for growers to help plants thrive in the face of pest and environmental constraints, along with other challenges.”  Continue reading

NIFA Announces $6 Million for Research on Plant-Biotic Interactions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of approximately $6 million to support agriculturally relevant research on the symbiotic relationship between plants and other living organisms. The Plant-Biotic Interactions program is a joint funding opportunity established through a partnership between NIFA and the National Science Foundation.

There are more than three decades of research on the molecular mechanisms that inform the interactions of plants, microbes, and invertebrates. “There is a continued need for applied tools and technologies to sustain and improve agriculture for a growing world population,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of NIFA. The Plant-Biotic Interactions program will support fundamental and applied research to provide a deeper understanding of these complex interactions. Research may lead to novel cropping systems that help plants extract nutrients from their environments, ward off diseases, and thrive in the face of extreme environmental conditions. Continue reading