News release, The McKnight Foundation

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News release, The McKnight Foundation
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The McKnight Foundation
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121 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, Minsota For information: Mary Ziegenhagen
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402 Ofc
612-333-4220 Communications Officer
(612) 333-4220
May 23, 1994


The McKnight Foundation has awarded its first grants in a new six-year $12 million international,
collaborative crop research program, Cynthia Boynton, president, announced today. This initial
round of planning grants to 18 research partnerships totals $217,988.

"Every year, around the world, 40 million people die from hunger and related diseases," Ms.
Boynton said. "Through this program, the Foundation seeks to make a contribution to meeting the
food needs of countries where large numbers of people suffer hunger and the effects of malnutrition."
This will be done through the support of research that is strategically linked to issues of food crop
production in less developed countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

These initial grants were made to partnerships selected from among 460 applications from 63
countries. Each partnership includes top plant scientists in universities or national agricultural
programs of less developed countries and outstanding researchers in the United States. The grants
will enable recipients to work together to develop detailed research plans and to prepare proposals for
support for that research.

Based on the proposals, the Foundation will award major research and training grants to as many as
eight international partnerships. These grants are expected to range between $100,000 and $300,000
per year for up to three years, with renewal possible for another three years. The Foundation will
announce the recipients of these major grants in January 1995.

Michael O'Keefe, executive vice president of The McKnight Foundation explained: "This new
initiative builds on ten years of McKnight support for basic research in plant biology. In our call for

McKnight Crop Research Program

planning proposals, the Foundation asked researchers in less developed countries to identify local or
regional food needs to which research can contribute, to join forces with appropriate U.S.-based
scientists, and, together, to prepare their request for a planning grant."

The program has been shaped and is overseen by an Oversight Committee of distinguished plant,
agricultural, and social scientists from six countries. Chaired by Robert M. Goodman, Ph.D., a
professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Oversight Committee will evaluate the
proposals funded by the planning grants, make recommendations to the Foundation directors for
funding, and monitor the progress of the projects during the six-year life of the program.

Professor Goodman said, "The McKnight Foundation's commitment launches an exciting experiment
in advancing the cause of world agriculture. The focus is on strengthening plant biology in the
agricultural sector of developing countries through the creation and support of high-quality research
and training programs. The program puts major emphasis on nurturing genuine partnerships between
developing-country scientists and their colleagues in the United States. Participants in the developing
countries are taking the lead in designing the projects and seeking out the U.S. partners with whom
they will work.

"The planning grants cover an exciting range of topics that are of both applied and fundamental
importance," Goodman added. "Examples include the ecology of sustainable cropping systems,
molecular approaches to plant breeding and germplasm improvement, and efforts to reduce losses to
diseases, pests, and drought. Research and training supported by this program will make lasting
contributions to the agricultural, environmental, and nutritional status of the developing world by
investing in carefully chosen research projects that are scientifically fertile, are well suited to
education and training, and have promise of medium- and long-term benefits to society."

Except for proposals developed with planning grants awarded in April 1994, the Foundation is
accepting no further applications in this program.

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McKnight Crop Research Program


The following are the topics and principal participants for each of the 18 projects.

Integration of Grain Legume Crops in a Sustainable Cropping System for Ethiopian Farmers to
Increase Protein Production and Stabilize Soil Resources
Amare Abebe-Institute of Agricultural Research-Ethiopia
Mark A. Brick-Colorado State University-U.S.A.

Root and Tuber Crop Improvement in Ghana
J. J. Afuakwa-Crops Research Institute-Ghana
R. Kent Crookston-University of Minnesota-U.S.A.

Physiological, Genetical and Molecular Basis for Tef Improvement in Ethiopia
Mulu Ayele-Alemaya University of Agriculture/Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center-
Abraham Blum-The Volcani Center-Israel
Henry T. Nguyen-Texas Tech University-U.S.A.

Conservation of Genetic Diversity and Improvement of Crop Production in Mexico: A Farmer-
Based Approach
Robert Bye Boettler-Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico-Mexico
Calvin O. Qualset-University of California, Davis-U.S.A.

Little Known Crops of the Maya
Ricardo Bressani, Charles MacVean-Universidad del Valle de Guatemala-Guatemala
Hugh Popenoe-University of Florida-U.S.A.

Collection, Identification, Transfer and Utilization of New Genetic Resources for Resistance to
Scab Disease of Wheat
Dajun Liu, Peidu Chen-Nanjing Agricultural University-Peoples Republic of China
Bikram S. Gill-Kansas State University-U.S.A.

Transgenic Approaches to Produce Insect and Virus Resistant Beans
Dulce Eleonora de Oliveira, Rogerio Margis-Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro-Brazil
Maria Fatima Grossi de Sa, Josias Correa de Faria, Elibio L. Rech, Simone da Graca Ribeiro-
Roger N. Beachy, Claude M. Fauquet-The Scripps Research Institute-U.S.A.
Maarten J. Chrispeels-University of California, San Diego-U.S.A.

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McKnight Crop Research Program

Natural Biological Control of Diseases for Sustainable Rice Production in Tropical Ecosystems
Somkid Disthaporn-Department of Agriculture-Thailand
T.W. Mew-IRRI-Philippines
R. James Cook-USDA-ARS, Root Disease and Biological Control Research Unit-U.S.A.
Hei Leung-Washington State University-U.S.A.

The Andean Root and Tuber Crops: Realizing the Promise of Forgotten Foods
Rolando Estrada Jimenez-Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos-Peru
Hector E. Flores-The Pennsylvania State University-U.S.A.

Obtaining Potatoes Less Dependent on Insecticides Through a Type of Broad Spectrum
Resistance Mediated by Glandular Trichomes
Felix H. Franca-EMBRAPA/CNPH-Brazil
Julio C. Kalazich-INIA-Chile
Robert L. Plaisted-Cornell University-U.S.A.
James H. Lorenzen-North Dakota State University-U.S.A.

Epidemiology and Management of Geminivirus-Whitefly Complex in Food Cropping Systems in
Central America
Luko Hilje-CATIE-Costa Rica
Mario Saborio-Ministry of Agriculture and Husbandry-Costa Rica
Luis Mejia-Universidad de San Carlos-Guatemala
Aldo F. Rojas-National Agrarian University-Nicaragua
Douglas P. Maxwell-University of Wisconsin, Madison-U.S.A.

Integrated Striga Research and Control: an Africa-wide Collaborative Effort with the U.S.A.
S.T.O. Lagoke-PASCON-Nigeria
D.K. Berner-IITA-Nigeria
Lytton J. Musselman-Old Dominion University-U.S.A.
John I. Yoder-University of California, Davis-U.S.A.
Michael P. Timko-University of Virginia-U.S.A.

Adaptation of Food Legumes to Low Phosphorus Soils in Tropical and Sub-Tropical South
Luo Shi Ming-South China Agricultural University-Peoples Republic of China
Douglas P. Beck-CIAT-Colombia
Robert L. Todd-The Pennsylvania State University-U.S.A.

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McKnight Crop Research Program

Development of High Yielding Multiple Resistant Sweetpotato Germplasm for the Tropics
Robert O.M. Mwanga-NAARI-Uganda
George Ndamage-ISAR-Rwanda
Edward E. Carey-CIP-Kenya
Janice R. Bohac-USDA-ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory-U.S.A.
Merle Shepard-Clemson University-U.S.A.
Paul G. Thompson-Mississippi State University-U.S.A.
C.S. Prakash-Tuskegee University-U.S.A.

The Ecological Biochemistry of Proanthocyanidins (Condensed Tannins) and Related Flavonoids
in Zimbabwean Small Scale Farming Systems
Lindela R. Ndlovu-University of Zimbabwe-Zimbabwe
Jess D. Reed-University of Wisconsin, Madison-U.S.A.

Genetic Improvement of Chickpea and Pigeonpea
P.K. Ranjekar-National Chemical Laboratory-India
Clarence A. Ryan-Washington State University-U.S.A.

Integrated Pest Management in Non-Rice Food Crops in Indonesia: A University Partnership to
Ensure Sustainability
Aunu Rauf-Institut Pertanian Bogor-Indonesia
Samuel G. Turnipseed-Clemson University-U.S.A.

Reducing Vector Competence By Modification of Symbionts in Insect Vectors of Plant Viruses
Shen Daleng, Li Chang-ben-Fudan University-Peoples Republic of China
Roger Hull-John Innes Institute-U.K.
Hans van den Heuvel-Agricultural University-The Netherlands
Frank F. Richards, Serap Aksoy, Scott O'Neill-Yale University-U.S.A.
Angray S. Kang-The Scripps Research Institute-U.S.A.

The McKnight Collaborative Crop Research Program will support research and training that addresses
food needs and enhances the capacity of scientists in less developed countries of Asia, Africa, and
Latin America. Projects must be closely and strategically linked to issues of food crop production.
Through this program, The McKnight Foundation seeks:

o To support plant research on topics important to improved food production in less
developed countries or regions of the world;

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McKnight Crop Research Program

o To increase the capacity of scientists in less developed countries to carry out basic
and applied plant biology research;

o To establish collaborative partnerships among teams of top plant scientists in
universities and national programs of less developed countries and counterparts in
the United States; and

o To increase the likelihood that the results of research supported by this program
are applied in the agricultural practices of less developed countries.

The program funds only projects that include the following activities: establishment of an equal
partnership between groups of leading scientists of less developed countries and researchers in the
United States; assessment and documentation of the food needs of a particular country or region;
identification of areas in which new research has the most potential for addressing those problems and
opportunities; an advisory group for the project; and preparation of a research workplan and a
collaborative training plan.

The Program Oversight Committee of the McKnight Collaborative Crop Research Program is
composed of the following members: Committee Chair Robert Goodman, Professor, University of
Wisconsin-Madison; John Axtell, Lynn Distinguished Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette,
Indiana; Sandra S. Batie, Elton R. Smith Professor in Food and Agricultural Policy, Michigan State
University, East Lansing, Michigan; Almiro Blumenschein, Agricultural Consultant, Goiania Goals,
Brazil; Donald Duvick, Affiliate Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Jajah Koswara,
Director, Director General of Higher Education, Jakarta, Indonesia; Molly Kyle, Assistant Professor,
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Alison G. Power, Associate Professor, Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York; Mandivamba Rukuni, Professor, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe;
Vernon W. Ruttan, Regents Professor, University of Minnesota; Usha Vijayraghavan, Assistant
Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India; and Qifa Zhang, Professor and Director,
Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Peoples Republic of China.

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McKnight Crop Research Program

The McKnight Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation, established in 1953 by William L.
McKnight and his wife, Maude L. McKnight. Mr. McKnight was one of the early leaders of the 3M
Company; however, the Foundation is independent of that corporation. The Foundation assumed its
present structure in 1974, when a professional staff was hired. Since that time, its assets have grown
from $8 million to more than $1 billion and grants have increased from $741,000 in 1974 to about
$53.3 million in 1993.

The McKnight Foundation has a primary interest in assisting people who are poor or disadvantaged
by enhancing their capacity for productive living. The Foundation also seeks to strengthen
community and community institutions, to enrich people's lives through the arts, to encourage
preservation of the natural environment, and to advance scientific knowledge that can improve
peoples' lives. The Foundation's primary geographic focus in its human services and arts
grantmaking is the state of Minnesota. In addition to the Collaborative Crop Research Program, The
McKnight Foundation supports scientific research in two other fields, neuroscience and eating

* *

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