new maize projects funded by the NSF Plant Genome Program

Patrick S Schnable schnable at iastate.edu
Tue Oct 7 09:44:42 EST 2003

Dear Members of the Maize Genetics Community:

Last week NSF announced its new Plant Genome awards.  You'll be
pleased to hear that maize projects received over 25% of the ~$100M
in new funding:

Hank Bass is producing a FISH-based cytogenetic map of maize via
hybridization of sorghum BACs to maize (~$1.5M).  The resulting data
should enhance our understanding of the synteny between maize and
sorghum (and other cereals) and thereby facilitate the exchange of
functional information among these species.

Vicki Chandler is leading a $3.6M project to develop an oligo array
for maize.  Her colleagues in this venture are:  Robin Buell, Shawn
M. Kaeppler, David W. Galbraith, and Nathan Springer.  David spoke
about the value of oligo arrays during the genomics workshoip at the
last maize genetics conference.

John Doebley is leading a large ($10.2M) project that is exploring
the molecular and functional diversity of maize. His colleagues
include: Brandon Gaut, Major Goodman, Jim Holland, Stephen Kresovich,
Mike McMullen, Lincoln Stein, and Doreen Ware.

Hugo Dooner, Brandon S. Gaut and Jo Messing are following up on the
fascinating observation reported by Hugo at the last maize genetic
conference of novel haplotype variability in maize (Fu and Dooner,
2002, PNAS) with an ~$1M award.

Mike Freeling and Damon Lisch are exploring epigenetic regulation of
the Mu system with an ~$1M award.  In addition to satisfying our
intellectual curiosity about Mu biology, this project promises to
generate useful tools for "taming" Mu and allowing us to better
exploit to for functional genomics.

Steve Henikoff is leading a team consisting of Luca Comai and Cliff
Weil to develop a TILLING system for maize.  As reported by Steve
during his talk at the last maize genetics conference, TILLING is an
EMS-based reverse genetics system with great potential for
facilitating functional genomics.

Mike Scanlon is leading a team (Brent Buckner, Dan Nettleton, Marja
Timmermans, Pat Schnable and Diane Janick-Buckner) to use the new
technology of Laser Capture Microdissection (Nakazono et al., 2003,
Plant Cell) to explore global patterns of gene expression in specific
cell types and domains of the vegetative shoot apical meristem of
maize ($3.9M).

Pat Schnable, Brent Buckner and Dan Ashlock are genetically mapping
expressed sequences discovered as part of the the maize genome
sequencing project ($3.6M).  This will help link the assembled maize
gene islands to the rice physical map.

Bill Sheridan will be conducting the proof-of-concept project he
outlined in his talk at the last maize genetics conference to use
chromosomal translocations link the cytogenetic, physical and genetic
maps of maize ($0.6M)

Cari Soderlund, Rod Wing, Jeff  Bennetzen and Phillip SanMiguel will
conduct a proof-of-concept project to link together sequences
generated by the maize genome sequencing project.  This will be
accomplished by generating and sequencing HypoMethylated Partial
Restriction (HMPR) and Methylation Spanning Linker Libraries (MSLLs)
libraries ($1.4M).

Also funded were some cross-species informatic projects (e.g., those
led by Volker Brendel, Lincoln Stein and Doreen Ware) that will
contribute to our understanding of the maize genome.

All of the awards are listed at:
http://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/genome03.htm.  While there you can
click on award numbers to access project abstracts.

You'll note that rice and our other sister cereals also fared very well.

Pat Schnable
Chair, Maize Executive Committee


Patrick S. Schnable
Director, Center for Plant Genomics
Professor of Plant Genetics
2035B Roy J Carver Co-Lab
Iowa State University
Ames, IA  50011-3650 USA

schnable at iastate.edu
515-294-0975 (office)
515-294-7209 (administrative assistant)
515-294-5256 (fax)

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