Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Award

Collaborative project on disease resistance gene diversity funded

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awarded $2.3M to the Two Blades Foundation (2Blades), a charitable organization that supports the development of durable disease resistance in crop plants and their deployment in agriculture. Jeff Dangl (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Brian Staskawicz (University of California, Berkeley), Jonathan Jones (Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK) and Detlef Weigel (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany) will collaborate to discover the variability of immune system receptors of the nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat (NLR) class. The enormous diversity of NLR proteins has made their genes difficult to study with conventional genome sequencing techniques. These hurdles have recently been overcome, and using a new highly accurate, fast, and cost-efficient technique developed in the Jones lab, the teams will reveal the diversity of NLR proteins within and across plant species.