Because wheat blast has not been found in North American wheat, it is critical that the team's research be conducted in a secure facility. For that reason, the scientists are working in K-State's Biosecurity Research Institute, a facility that provides a safe and secure location to study high-consequence pathogens.
Grant part of over $75 million awarded to 21 universities
The grant, awarded by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the 2012 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Food Security program, was part of more than $75 million in grants recently awarded to teams at 21 universities. The teams are working in research, education and extension activities to ensure greater food security in the United States and around the world, according to the USDA.
"Millions of American households lack the resources to access sufficient food, and many of those, including our children, may go hungry at least once this year," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, in making the grant announcement. "The grants announced today will help policymakers and others better recognize the food and nutrition needs of low-income communities in our country, while improving the productivity of our nation's agriculture to meet those needs.
Globally, the population is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people (to more than 9 billion) by 2050. By investing in the science of America's renowned land-grant universities, our aim is to find sustainable solutions to help systems expand to meet the demands of growing populations."
More information about wheat blast is available here. More information about rice blast is available here.
Source: Kansas State University News Service