NCAUR research projects are mission-driven, reflecting the broad scope of the USDA Agricultural Research Service and its national mission. Nine multidisciplinary teams of scientists, or research units, use basic and applied science techniques and work with other public and private-sector researchers as necessary to meet the objectives of the ARS National Research Programs.
Bioproducts and Biocatalysis - BBC
Develops new microorganisms and biocatalysts, and improves existing ones, for use in converting renewable agricultural materials into high-value bioproducts.
Cereal Products and Food Science – CPF
Creates new processing methods to enhance the performance of agricultural materials in existing applications and develops new products to promote health using crops such as corn, soybeans, oats, barley and wheat.
Crop Bioprotection Research (CBP)
Develops natural biological pest control agents to reduce exposure of the environment and food supply to potentially harmful chemical pesticides; and develops means to produce and deliver these control agents in applications.
Fermentation Biotechnology Research (FBT)
Creates metabolic engineering technologies to convert agricultural commodities such as corn and crop residues into biofuels and chemicals, enzymes and polymers.
Food & Industrial Oil Research (FIO)
Modifies the chemical and physical properties of soybean and other vegetable oils to develop improved quality and functionality of the oils for use in food and industrial applications.
Microbial Genomics and Bioprocessing Research (MGB)
Creates new molecular genetic methods to detect, identify and classify microorganisms used in the areas of food safety, plant pathology and the conversion of vegetable oils to value-added products.
The MGB unit also manages and maintains the ARS Microbial Culture Collection, including the ARS Patent Culture Collection.
Mycotoxin Research (MTX)
Creates strategies to minimize the toxins produced by crop-infecting fungi in the field and in storage that reduce commodity quality and yield.
New Crops and Processing Technology Research (NCP)
Creates viable new agricultural commodities by identifying potential alternative crops and generating market demand by developing new industrial products using those crops.
Plant Polymer Research (PPL)
Modifies bio-based materials such as polysaccharides and proteins from corn, and evaluates the structure-property relationships of the modified materials for use in new applications.