To translate scientific discoveries into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.
ContactsDr. Rick Vierling
Director of Research and New Uses
National Corn Growers Association (National Office)
Dr. Scott White
Global Security and Applications
B-7 Biosecurity and Public Health
PO Box 1663, Mailstop M888
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545
The NAGC is partnered with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the premier research institution in the world with a proven track record in developing high-throughput genotyping technology. LANL has considerable experience in the design and testing of nucleic acid assays for the detection of human, animal and plant pathogens.
The main funding for this work has come from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and a number of LANL assay designs have been transitioned by the DHS for use at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other support has come from the Citrus Research Board and from private industry. Over the past 10 years, LANL has designed assays for all of the key biothreat and public defense viral and bacterial pathogens.
The design methods employed at LANL rely extensively on computational techniques for genome comparison that were developed at LANL for the DHS and that are implemented on a large dedicated cluster of high performance computers. These methods are ahead of the current state of the art and allow LANL to identify assay designs that cannot be achieved elsewhere.
The computational methods developed at LANL are applicable to any of the existing hybridization-based nucleic-acid assay methods (PCR, TaqMan, microarrays, NASBA, etc). However, in addition, LANL has considerable unique expertise with the MOL-PCR platform that will be deployed by this initiative. Tools have been developed and continue to be improved that are specific for MOL-PCR assay designs.
LANL will be responsible for the bioinformatics component of this initiative. Their work will be primarily focused on the design of nucleic acid assays. Additional tasks may involve sequence analysis for improved understanding of assay performance, database support, and support for development of counter-measures. Research needed to maintain state of the art capabilities may also be necessary.
The NAGC will benefit from this partnership by maintaining a direct link with the agricultural producers. NCGA representsmore than 37,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs. A partnership with the NCGA will facilitate access to farmers in 48 states. The Mission of the National Corn Growers Association is to create and increase opportunities for corn growers. The Vision of the National Corn Growers Association is that it will continue to be the recognized leader working in cooperation with its suppliers and customers to maintain sustainability and to achieve new business and profit opportunities for those it represents.
For information on funding the
National Agricultural Genotyping Center Please contact: