NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, American Museum of Natural History Receive $1.6 Million NSF Grant to Explore Plant Evolution, Create Public Database

New York University and the American Museum of Natural History have received a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to explore plant evolution and to create a public database that provides information about the structure and inferred function of proteins found in two plant genomes. The three-year grant will allow the researchers at both institutions to investigate ground-breaking methods for exploring the evolution, structure, and function of proteomes— the entire array of proteins expressed by a genome.

Richard Bonneau and Michael Purugganan, biologists from NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, along with Rod DeSalle, curator from the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at AMNH, will model species Arabidopsis thaliana (the most widely studied plant model system, and the first sequenced plant) and the rice plant Oryza sativa. For these species, the researchers will combine information about the structure of proteins with information about the evolution of those proteins. By mapping information about the evolutionary importance of parts of genes onto their predictions about how the 500

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