The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) joined with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to announce the availability of $14.5 million in funding for the NIFA-NSF Joint Plant-Biotics Interactions (PBI) program.

PBI supports research on the processes that mediate beneficial and antagonistic interactions between plants and their viral, bacterial, oomycete, fungal, plant, and invertebrate symbionts, pathogens and pests. This joint program supports projects focused on current and emerging model and non-model systems, as well as agriculturally relevant plants.

In fiscal year 2016, NIFA has made $6 million available for PBI and NSF has made $8.5 million available for fiscal year 2017.

The program’s scope extends from fundamental mechanisms to translational efforts, with the latter seeking to put into agricultural practice insights gained from basic research on the mechanisms that govern plant-biotic interactions. Projects must be strongly justified in terms of fundamental biological processes and/or relevance to agriculture and may be purely fundamental or applied, or include aspects of both perspectives.

Applications are due June 6, 2016 for those projects seeking NIFA funding and April 21, 2017 for NSF funding. See the request for applications for more information.