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Functional Genomics in Nature

Weimer, Bart
Utah State University
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The goal of this work is to understand dynamic genome networks, develop robust and predictive technologies for gene expression assessment, and to exploit functional genomics for agriculturally important plants, animals, and microbes. The studies in this work will be lead by the Center for Integrated BioSystems at USU. Where appropriate, the efforts will include individuals with specific content expertise that is relevant to the goals.

Targeted areas are found in the objectives that follow.

  1. Study gene expression, metabolism, and genetic diversity in laboratory and natural populations.
  2. Utilize functional genomics to define growth and survival of organisms.
  3. Discovery of mechanisms that control genetic events.
  4. Increase understanding of regulatory networks in model systems and organisms important to environmental, agricultural, and biomedical needs.
  5. Establish introductory and advanced training programs in functional genomics.
More information
Non-Technical Summary: The primary agricultural stakeholders have needs that span the distance between fundamental science and field applications in agriculture and the environment. This project will provide scientific and training opportunities that fill the need in production agriculture, food processing, and fundamental science.

Approach: The Center for Integrated BioSystems is a biotechnology-focused research center that provides training and access to advanced technologies in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. A primary focus of the Center is to provide a core service laboratory to USU investigators in the life sciences, specifically in agriculture. We will develop new tools and equipment base for analytical needs for agriculture that is based on genetics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Forming extensive collaborations between agricultural scientists and fundamental scientists to investigate food safety, animal reproduction, and plant stress will be used to facilitate this work. We will use gene expression analysis, 2D gels, classical genetics, DNA sequencing, fermentation, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics to complete the objectives. Each specific objective will use a variety of tools to answer the questions.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Chemical Contaminants
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins