This grant extends the original project, which created a platform to link computational models to simulate plant growth and development. The new funding will allow researchers to quickly and accurately test how a plant responds to a combination of changes. The grant also makes the entire platform available to the public.
Co-Investigators on the grant include Illinois’ Matthew Turk, Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA); Stephen P. Long, Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences; Kaiyu Guan, Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; and Meagan Lang, NCSA Research Scientist. Collaborators from other institutes include Jonathan Lynch, Professor of Plant Science at Pennsylvania State University; Bedrich Benes, Professor of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University; Lee Sweetlove, Professor of Plant Sciences at Oxford University; and James Schnable, Assistant Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska.
“This approach has already identified opportunities that resulted in successful field trials by optimizing single processes like photosynthesis or single organs like root architecture,” said Steve Long. “By scaling up our work to whole plants and fields, we can move years ahead in optimizing plants for different growing conditions.”
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment at Illinois provided $350,000 in seed funding to establish the original Crops in silico project in 2015 in collaboration with NCSA, which has provided $212,000 in seed funding, designed the Cis infrastructure and interface and developed many of the tools used to visualize crops and simulate conditions. Marshall-Colón and Turk received a $274,000 grant from FFAR in 2017 to extend this work.
“We are so grateful for the support we have received from FFAR, iSEE and NCSA,” Marshall-Colón said.
Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking
Tony Mancuso, Communications Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment, 217-300-3546, email@example.com
Tiffany Jolley, Strategic Content Specialist, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 256-225-3879, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Goldberg, FFAR, 202-624-0704, sgoldberg@foundationFAR.org