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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Iowa State University
  • Nicole Valenzuela
  • (515) 294-1285
  • Jeffrey Essner
  • Jonathan Mochel
  • Karin Allenspach
  • Maura A McGrail
Award Date:07/28/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,300,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 400,000
  • FY 2021=$400,000
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:07/31/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:EDGE FGT: Development of fibroblasts and organoids as tools for functional genomics in turtles, applicable to other non-mammalian vertebrates
Federal Award ID Number:2127995
DUNS ID:005309844
Parent DUNS ID:005309844
Program:EDGE Tools
Program Officer:
  • Steven Ellis
  • (703) 292-7876

Awardee Location

Street:1138 Pearson
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Iowa State University
Street:3235 Bessey Hall
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

This project at Iowa State University will develop genomic tools for turtles to advance the use of these non-model taxa (and other reptiles) to study genome-to-phenome mapping, gene function, development, genome architecture, adaptive responses to climate change, and more. Turtles are an emerging model for ecology, evolution, and other topics, but genomic tools are needed for that promise to be fully realized. This project will provide the scientific community with a biobank and tools applicable to turtles and other reptiles. Workshops, symposia, and publications will enable the rapid dissemination of these resources. Training will be provided across levels of career development (undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and faculty), including individuals from underrepresented groups. Public outreach activities will be developed to engage children and adults at the Science Center of Iowa to understand turtle biology and general science. Functional genomic resources will be developed in painted turtle fibroblasts and organoids, including gene upregulation (lentiviral vectors or RNA injection), gene knockdown (RNAi), and targeted mutagenesis tools (CRISPR-Cas9). The tools will further enable turtles as model systems to illuminate gene regulation, the underpinnings of vertebrate development, and the effects of structural variation on genome function by enabling tests of genome-to-phenome mapping. Using fibroblasts and organoids also solves the bottleneck from the seasonality of eggs for experimentation and functional genomic approaches with transient transgenics mitigates some of the challenge of studying long-lived organisms. Developing fibroblasts and organoids as new systems for functional genomics will catalyze the study of climate change effects in turtles and other reptiles. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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