Rice Coordinated Agricultural Project(RiceCAP)
RiceCAP is the abbreviated name for the Rice Coordinated Agricultural Project. The University of Arkansas is the lead institution on this $5 million dollar, 4-year grant from the NIFA National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program. Rice is an important crop for both the United States and the world, and Arkansas produces approximately half of the rice grown in the United States.
The grant title is “A Coordinated Research, Education, and Extension Project for the Application of Genomic Discoveries to Improve Rice in the United States.” The project will initiate and coordinate research on rice at several institutions in different states. More importantly, it will combine research, education and extension to:
- develop new technology for rice production,
- educate the next generation of scientists in use of this technology for plant breeding, and
- through extension efforts, will educate the farmers and consumers of the value of using genomic information to improve agricultural crops.
The rice genome was completely sequenced recently and is being analyzed using genomic tools and resources. The RiceCAP will use the genomic sequence, tools, and resources to solve problems in rice production and improvement that can not easily be solved by traditional plant breeding. The research goals of the RiceCAP are to identify genes and markers for traits important for milling yield (the amount of processed rice on which a farmer makes income) and for resistance to sheath blight disease. Traditional plant breeding has not made much progress on improving milling yield or resistance to sheath blight disease. Thus, the RiceCAP provides an exciting opportunity for developing new genomic and molecular biotechnology tools for more efficient and effective rice cultivars which, in turn, can lead to improved economics of rice production.
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