News Release

Second Round of Grants Awarded in Agriculture Genome-to-Phenome Research

January 10, 2022

Ames, IA – The Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative has awarded 11 grants to institutions across the country for projects that help advance multidisciplinary crop and livestock genetics research.

The AG2PI project's second round of grants awarded will broaden the interactions between crop and livestock science, which is a major goal of our initiative. Finding synergistic relationships between plant and animal scientists will improve the pace and methodologies for both research communities, said Patrick Schnable, AG2PI lead scientist and distinguished professor at Iowa State University. I also want to acknowledge the chair of the seed grant committee Jennifer Clarke, at the University of Nebraska, and the rest of her committee for their success in establishing this grant program.

The Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative is a three-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The goal of AG2PI is to connect crop and livestock scientists to each other and to those working in data science, statistics, engineering and social sciences to identify shared problems and collaborate on solutions.

This is the second of three rounds of AG2PI seed grants planned for the project. These seed grants help to address genome-to-phenome challenges, develop solutions for research needs and identify gaps that could be addressed by sharing solutions across kingdoms.

One of the new grants in this round will support a project led by Iowa State University, Harnessing Ag Genomics Data to Link Genotype to Phenotype. The lead project investigator is James Koltes, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, working at Iowa State with Chris Tuggle, professor of animal science; Peter Harrison, genome analysis team leader at the European Bioinformatics Institute; and graduate student Alenka Hafner, Pennsylvania State University.

The Iowa State project aims to encourage communication between the plant and animal research communities to solve data sharing and re-use issues. It will begin with a workshop for functional genomic data experts of both plants and animals. The workshop goals are to identify and prioritize shared needs for data re-use tools that link genotype to phenotype, tools that can integrate different datatypes, and to glean new insights in functional genomics.

The grant awards in this round span three levels:

Awards range from $20,000-$75,000, depending on the grant level. Projects will run from six to 15 months.

Other projects and teams receiving AG2PI Round 2 seed grants include:

The third and final round of AG2PI seed grants will be awarded in the Spring 2022. Information for submitting a proposal for Round 3 is on the AG2PI website; the deadline for submission is March 8. For more information on this and other grant opportunities, visit the webpage:

The AG2PI is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The goal of AG2PI is to build communities that address the challenges of genome-to-phenome research across crops and livestock. The AG2PI partners include Iowa State University, University of Nebraska, University of Arizona, University of Idaho and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.