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Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research — Research on Drought-Tolerant Rice

Award Date 
Grant Amount 
To increase drought tolerance in Indian rice.
Topic (focus area) 

Grant Investigators: Chris Somerville and Heather Youngs

This page was reviewed but not written by the grant investigators. Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research staff also reviewed this page prior to publication.

Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $97,500 over three years to support work on CRISPR modifications to increase drought tolerance in Indian rice, a project led by Professor Brian Staskawicz at UC Berkeley. It’s our understanding that sporadic drought has caused Indian rice yields to become erratic, which has negative impacts on the livelihood of about 100 million small farmers. The proposed experiments will exploit recent advances in genome editing. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) plans to match our support, and we intend this funding to support the research of PhD student Nicholas Karavolias. A portion of the funding supports Nicholas’s inclusion in the FFAR Fellows Program, a three-year leadership and professional development program for 22 PhD students in the agricultural and life sciences.

This follows our October 2018 support to UC Berkeley and falls within our work on scientific research.