Grain News

National Science Foundation Awards University of Illinois $5.7 Million For New Corn Variety Research

Date Posted: December 13, 2012

Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that the National Science Foundation has awarded $5,733,824 in funding to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the Plant Genome Research Project to identify and develop corn strains that are most resistant to elevated ozone levels brought on by air pollution and climate change.

Tropospheric ozone is the most damaging air pollutant to crops, and has reduced potential corn yields by as much as 10 percent, costing millions of dollars annually.

“The University of Illinois has led the nation in research efforts to develop stronger crop strains, increase crop yields, and keep food prices low.

"This grant will help corn growers in Illinois and across the country meet the challenges brought on by our changing climate, both now and in the future,” Durbin said.

This project will bolster other research efforts at the University of Illinois to address major challenges in agriculture through genetics and genomics.

Today’s funding will also provide outreach through an after-school program on plant biology at a local middle school and a summer science camp for high school girls.

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