The Genomics and Gene Discovery Research Unit conducts research that employs modern molecular, genomics, and bioinformatics strategies to enhance agronomic performance and end uses Triticeae family crops (wheat, barley, rye) and oats, and development of resources for improving biofuel grasses. These strategies are employed for the characterization, identification and utilization of genes in these species. This unit is also involved in the development and curation of the GrainGenes website and database, the most comprehensive source of molecular and phenotypic information on the Triticeae and oats. The Genomics and Gene Discovery Research Unit collaborates extensively, both domestically and internationally, on these projects for the improvement and understanding of the Triticeae family.
This project contributes strongly to National Program 301, Plant, Microbial, and Insect Germplasm, Conservation, and Development (60%) and NP 302, Plant Biological and Molecular Processes (40%). This project is moving into the area of functional genomics and the development of resources to address issues on wheat improvement. In addition, the scope and wide applicability of genomics technologies can benefit many aspects of plant research. Thus, the genomics development portion of this project is contributing to all other Programs that involve, or depend on, genetic or molecular data, gene mapping, and germplasm identification and management, i.e., National Programs 303 (Plant Diseases), 304 (Crop Protection and Quarantine), 306 (Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products), 307 (Bioenergy and Energy Alternatives), and 107 (Human Nutrition).
There are currently three areas of research:
Genomics and Bioinformatics of Small Grains
Molecular Basis of Key Cereal Grain Traits
Development of Biotechnological Resources for Biofuels