BioWorld International Correspondent

BORNHEIM, Germany - The German Research Ministry plans to fuel the growth of bioinformatics by a DM100 million (US$46.9 million) grant, and support microbial genomics through DM50 million in funding over five years.

The bioinformatics grant will be available to six regional networks of academic and industry research institutions, led by Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. Others are the Society for Biotechnology Research, of Braunschweig; Institute for Plant Genetics and Cultivated Plants Research, of Gatersleben; Institute for Molecular Biotechnology, of Jena; and the universities of Cologne and Munich.

They will develop new tools for dealing with the data generated from genome research projects and will build up professional training schemes and sites for to-be bioinformaticians. The bioinformatics program is part of a national DM350 million genomics program.

The DM50 million funding for microbial genomics will be open to three research institutions. The University of W|rzburg leads the network, with a focus on exploring microbial genomes for development of better antibacterial therapies. A network dealing with microbial biodiversity will be co-coordinated by the University of Gvttingen. The University of Bielefeld leads a group of institutions searching for improvement of environmental protection, agriculture and biotechnology by microbial genomics.