Miller and Whitham participate in DARPA funded research to investigate insects as delivery systems for crop stress response traits

ISU faculty, and CBC members, W. Allen Miller and Steve Whitham, are contributing to a $10.3 million, four-year multi-institutional effort funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where they will devise ways to engineer insect-transmitted plant viruses to deliver genes that will aid crop plants during times of stress. The research seeks to engineer insect-transmitted viruses that activate desirable traits in mature corn plants in hope of rapidly responding to crop threats such as drought and disease within a single growing season. The focus of the research directed by Whitham and Miller will be engineering the viruses and how they will interact with corn plants. Further details on this award can be found at http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2017/08/17/darpagrant2017. Probe information supporting this effort is provided through a CBC seed grant.