$5 Million NSF PIRE Grant Will Fund Research on African Crop Disease

North Carolina State University will receive one of 17 new National Science Foundation Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE) grants to study cassava mosaic disease, which severely limits production of one of Africa’s most important food crops.

The five-year, $5 million project will be led by Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology at NC State. She specializes in plant DNA viruses, called geminiviruses, like the ones infecting the cassava plant. Cassava is a tuber grown in Africa that can thrive despite poor soil conditions and drought.

The study will establish a partnership with researchers in East Africa to examine how plant DNA viruses change over time.

“Agriculture is increasingly a global enterprise and finding solutions to food security problems will depend on research partnerships such as this one that explore the basic science of how plant DNA viruses evolve and what limits their ability to adapt over time,” Hanley-Bowdoin said. “Such fundamental knowledge can be used to develop rational, durable strategies to control these important plant pathogens.”

Hanley-Bowdoin is joined by co-principal investigator George Kennedy, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State, and co-principal investigator Siobain Duffy, an assistant professor at Rutgers University.

NC State faculty members, including plant pathologist Ignacio Carbone, biochemist Jose Ascencio-Ibanez and education professor Timothy Goodale, will participate in the study, as will researchers from Auburn University, N.C. A&T State University, Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute Hub in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute in Tanzania.

– kulikowski –

15 responses on “$5 Million NSF PIRE Grant Will Fund Research on African Crop Disease

  1. R.M.Packialakshmi says:

    I am happy to see the grand for work on cassava crop which supports the life of poor people. I am very much impressed and interested in Dr. Hanley-Bowdoin’ s work in geminiviruses. I am also interested in working with Dr. Hanley-Bowdoin , if I will get a post doctoral reaseach in the above said project.

  2. TERFA likasa says:

    I am happy to see the grand for work on cassava crop which supports the life of poor people. I am also interested in working with Dr. Hanley-Bowdoin’ s if I will get a post MScl reaseach in the above said project.

  3. Kahya Shuaibu says:

    Congratulations. I really appreciate the effort of Prof. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin and her team for a grant to support the research work on geminiviruses that has become a major constraint in cassava production in Sub-Saharan Africa. I will like to get a PhD research opportunity in this project

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