(1)to expand the knowledge of public and private sector entities and persons concerning genomes for species of importance to the food and agriculture sectors in order to maximize the return on the investment in genomics of agriculturally important species;
(2)to focus on the species that will yield scientifically important results that will enhance the usefulness of many agriculturally important species;
(3)to build on genomic research, such as the Human Genome Initiative and the Arabidopsis Genome Project, to understand gene structure and function that is expected to have considerable payoffs in agriculturally important species;
(4)to develop improved bioinformatics to enhance both sequence or structure determination and analysis of the biological function of genes and gene products;
(5)to encourage Federal Government participants to maximize the utility of public and private partnerships for agricultural genome research;
(6)to allow resources developed under this section, including data, software, germplasm, and other biological materials, to be openly accessible to all persons, subject to any confidentiality requirements imposed by law; and
(7)to encourage international partnerships with each partner country responsible for financing its own strategy for agricultural genome research.
(b) Duties of Secretary
The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”) shall conduct a research initiative (to be known as the “Agricultural Genome Initiative”) for the purpose of—
(1)studying and mapping agriculturally significant genes to achieve sustainable and secure agricultural production;
(2)ensuring that current gaps in existing agricultural genetics knowledge are filled;
(3)identifying and developing a functional understanding of genes responsible for economically important traits in agriculturally important species, including emerging plant and animal pathogens and diseases causing economic hardship;
(4)ensuring future genetic improvement of agriculturally important species;
(5)supporting preservation of diverse germplasm;
(6)ensuring preservation of biodiversity to maintain access to genes that may be of importance in the future;
(7)reducing the economic impact of plant pathogens on commercially important crop plants; and
(8)otherwise carrying out this section.
(c) Grants and cooperative agreements
The Secretary may make grants or enter into cooperative agreements with individuals and organizations in accordance with section
3318 of this title.
(2) Competitive basis
A grant or cooperative agreement under this subsection shall be made or entered into on a competitive basis.
Paragraphs (4), (7), (8), and (11)(B) of subsection (b) ofsection
450i of this title shall apply with respect to the making of a grant or cooperative agreement under this section.
(e) Matching of funds
(1) General requirement
If a grant or cooperative agreement under this section provides a particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, the Secretary shall require the recipient to provide funds or in-kind support to match the amount of funds provided by the Secretary under the grant or cooperative agreement.
The Secretary may waive the matching funds requirement of paragraph (1) with respect to a research project if the Secretary determines that—
(A)the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or
(B)the project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.
(f) Consultation with National Academy of Sciences
The Secretary may use funds made available under this section to consult with the National Academy of Sciences regarding the administration of the Agricultural Genome Initiative.
2008—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–246, § 7406(d)(2), substituted “Paragraphs (4), (7), (8), and (11)(B)” for “Paragraphs (1), (6), (7), and (11)”.
2002—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 107–171, § 7208(a)(1), inserted “pathogens and” before “diseases causing economic hardship”.
Subsec. (b)(7), (8). Pub. L. 107–171, § 7208(a)(2)–(4), added par. (7) and redesignated former par. (7) as (8).
1998—Pub. L. 105–185amended section catchline and text generally, substituting present provisions for provisions which in subsec. (a) required plant genome mapping program, in subsec. (b) authorized competitive grants for research projects, in subsec. (c) described research areas for projects, in subsec. (d) set forth deadline for submission of plan for awarding grants, in subsec. (e) directed coordination of section activities with certain related activities, in subsec. (f) required protection of proprietary interests when considered to be appropriate, and in subsec. (g) authorized appropriations for fiscal years 1996 and 1997 to carry out this section.
1996—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 104–127inserted “for fiscal years 1996 and 1997” after “appropriated”.
1995—Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 104–66redesignated subsec. (h) as (g) and struck out former subsec. (g) which required Secretary to submit annual reports to Congress describing operations of grant program for plant genome mapping.
Amendment by section 7406(d)(2) ofPub. L. 110–246inapplicable to any solicitation for grant applications issued by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service before June 18, 2008, see section 7406(c) ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section
450i of this title.
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