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The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) recognizes that a lack of methods for analysis of gene function represents an obstacle to progress in a range of diverse non-model organisms. These organisms are important for understanding numerous basic science questions in organismal biology as funded through the Division’s core programs. Enabling Discovery through Genomic Tools (EDGE) is designed to provide support for development of tools, approaches and infrastructure necessary for direct tests of cause and effect hypotheses between gene function and phenotypes in diverse plants, animals, microbes, viruses and fungi for which these methods are presently unavailable. Such approaches are essential to advance understanding of the genomes-to-phenomes relationship, an area relevant to Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype, one of the 10 Big Ideas for future NSF investment.
To meet the goal of catalyzing communities to enable direct tests of cause-and-effect hypotheses about genes and phenotypes in organisms for which such tools and infrastructure are presently lacking, EDGE proposals must include training and rapid dissemination plans enabling larger communities of investigators to utilize the newly-developed tools quickly, thereby catalyzing an increase in the capacity of research communities to test cause-and-effect hypotheses about genes and phenotypes in organisms for which such tools and infrastructure are presently lacking.