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Cold Spring Harbor Labs Awarded $2M NSF Grant

By Ishan Shah


The National Sciend Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories a $2 million grant to find solutions to the threat of food insecurity and crop failure. The grant will fund research on aluminum toxicity of crop plants as exacerbated by climate change.


Cold Spring Harbor Labs professors Thomas Gingeras and Rob Martienssen are heading the research behind the $2 million grant.


The grant will fund research on "aluminum toxicity" a major threat that faces our crops globally. Their work is an important part of producing a stronger food supply.


“The climate is rapidly transitioning into much harsher crop cultivation conditions,” stated Prof. Gingeras. “Aluminum toxicity is a significant stress factor in acidic soils. It damages roots and makes crops more susceptible to drought and mineral deficiency. These effects contribute to serious food insecurity around the world.”


Professor Gingeras leads a multi-national team of scientists from Brazil to the United States.


Their main objectives are to unveil connections between gene regulation and aluminum tolerance in crops. The project not only aims to solve the crop crisis, but will also train scientists on new genomic approaches to addressing and mitigating  the effects of climate change.


“Acidic soils are a global agricultural problem worsened by climate change,” added Prof. Martienssen. “The NSF has given us a great opportunity to build upon our team’s discoveries on aluminum resistance in maize and sorghum, as well as our genomic technologies.”


The CSH Labs team includes Andrea Eveland, Jurandir Magalhaes, and Michael Zody.


Their work is an important step forward towards innovation, developing more robust crop plants, and building a more sustainable environment.


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