The Raymond Burton Fund for Plant Genome Research

Avraham Levy, Director

Recent advances in biology have been associated with several important technological advances in
genomic research. Large numbers of new plant genes are being discovered daily and in the near future,
we expect to know the entire set of genes present in a model simple plant called Arabidopsis.

However, sequence information only serves as an efficient starting point. The next generation of
research will focus on functional significance of novel genes, and their potential utilization for improving
crop growth and productivity. This can be carried out through the functional analysis of the newly
discovered genes. In many cases, genes are expressed when they are needed; thus an important
parameter alluding to their function is characterizing the expression profile of a gene or a network of
genes. The Raymond Burton Fund is dedicated to support such research.

The Mel Dobrin Center for Nutrition

Avraham Levy, Director

Increasing plant productivity and nutritional quality are a major human interest. In the past year, the
Dobrin Center has continued to provide a coordinating and supportive framework for various activities
aimed at increasing our understanding of the genetics, biochemistry, and physiological processes that
can lead to improvements in crop plants.

During the past year, the Center supported novel approaches for the production of nutritionally improved
storage proteins in cereals and legumes, increased wheat productivity, and reducing crop plants losses
caused by biotic and environmental stresses.