On June 5, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a request for applications (RFA) for the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI). AG2PI was authorized in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) and received its first funding in fiscal year (FY) 2020. This new funding opportunity seeks proposals that will enhance the knowledge of phenomes and genomes of plants and animals important to the U.S. agricultural sector. More specifically, applications must:
- “Expand knowledge concerning genomes and phenomes of crops and animals of importance to the agriculture sector of the United States;
- understand how variable weather, environments, and production systems impact the growth and productivity of specific varieties of crops and species of animals in order to provide greater accuracy in predicting crop and animal performance under variable conditions;
- support research that leverages plant and animal genomic information with phenotypic and environmental data through an interdisciplinary framework, leading to a novel understanding of plant and animal processes that affect growth, productivity, and the ability to predict performance, which will result in the deployment of superior varieties and species to producers and improved crop and animal management recommendations for farmers and ranchers;
- catalyze and coordinate research that links genomics and predictive phenomics at different sites across the United States to achieve advances in crops and animals that generate societal benefits;
- combine fields such as genetics, genomics, plant physiology, agronomy, climatology, and crop modeling with computation and informatics, statistics, and engineering;
- combine fields such as genetics, genomics, animal physiology, meat science, animal nutrition, and veterinary science with computation and informatics, statistics, and engineering;
- focus on crops and animals that will yield scientifically important results that will enhance the usefulness of many other crops and animals;
- build on genomic research, such as the Plant Genome Research Project and the National Animal Genome Research Program, to understand gene function in production environments that is expected to have considerable returns for crops and animals of importance to the agriculture of the United States;
- develop improved data analytics to enhance understanding of the biological function of genes;
- allow resources developed under this section, including data, software, germplasm, and other biological materials, to be openly accessible to all persons, subject to any confidentiality requirements imposed by law; and
- encourage international partnerships with each partner country responsible for financing its own research.”
Eligibility: State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations, foundations, or corporations; and individuals are eligible to apply. A consortium is encouraged.
Award Information: The estimated total program funding is $960,000 with a maximum project period of three years. USDA is not committed to making a specific number of awards. There is a 100% matching requirement, but may be waived if certain requirements are met.
Deadlines: Applications are due by July 15, 2020.
Sources and Additional Information
- More information on the funding opportunity, including the full RFA, can be found at: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agricultural-genome-phenome-initiative?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=.