1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Agreement is the technical, financial and material cooperation for the execution of the actions of the Embrapa´s Virtual Laboratory in the United States (LABEX-USA), for which the following is indispensable: 1.1. the development of a set of research projects of mutual interest, it being understood that these include research projects carried out in cooperation with direct participation of Embrapa and USDA-ARS researchers, and research projects of interest to Embrapa and as agreed by USDA-ARS, developed as a result of the work of Embrapa’s researchers, and in conformity with the laws, regulations, and policies of both countries; 1.2. the provision, by USDA-ARS to Embrapa, of logistical and scientific (physical and bibliographic; electronic, computer and other similar equipment) support, of the development of research projects of mutual interest referred to in sub item 1.1 above; 1.3. the provision, by USDA-ARS of necessary facilities for scientific research by Embrapa and to seek cooperative projects of mutual interest with other federal agencies and universities engaged in agricultural research and technology as relevant and mutually agreed to; 1.4. the provision by Embrapa for the transference to USDA-ARS of all necessary financial resources for operation of LABEX; 1.5. the agreement by USDA-ARS to effectively manage financial resources provided by Embrapa for the operation of LABEX; and
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Produce technology and knowledge of value to ARS and EMBRAPA in the broad areas of plant and animal sciences, soil science, agriculture and other additional fields (genomics, genetic resources, biobased products, food safety nanotechnology).
3. Progress Report:
In FY2013, the following long term Labex collaborations took place: 1) genetic resources and long-term preservation technologies at the ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Conservation in Ft. Collins, CO; 2) animal health for gastrointestinal parasite resistance for genotypic selection at the Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory, Beltsville, MD; 3) soybean drought stress biotechnology through circadian clock gene understanding at the Plant Gene Expression Center, Albany, CA; 4) anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; 5) control of the insect vector involved in citrus greening disease at the Subtropical Horticultural Research Station in Ft. Pierce, FL ; 6) Labex –USA coordination, ARS-Office of International Research Programs, Beltsville, MD. Labex-USA program has been very active in a number of the primary projects. Following the visit of Embrapa’s Agroenergy Center Director, two early career researchers were placed at ARS, Wyndmoor, PA, to look at the potential of using pyrolysis to convert waste streams to energy. Over 18 months, 16 ARS researchers travelled to Brazil as invited speakers at conferences or for other consultations and were able to meet with Embrapa researchers to discuss partnerships. Dialogue with the Embrapa International Relations office continued to advance the “reverse-Labex” concept so that administrative issues are worked out prior to ARS researchers being placed in Embrapa labs. Additional ARS researchers may be visiting Embrapa labs with the CNPq “Science without Borders” program in 2014, which requires consistent administration and support. As a result of these networking activities by Embrapa Labex scientists and the coordinator, numerous projects have been implemented. For example, ARS and Embrapa have collaborated on a new quick, low cost, simpler technique to detect horn-fly resistance to cypermethrin. In another project in this field, cooperators identified Salmonella shedding related SNPs that can be used to identify high and low shedding pig haplotypes. With this result and additional work, new vaccine candidates were developed that demonstrated good protection after challenge. In biotechnology, an Embrapa researcher has been matched to work on genome wide selection for development of improved forage. Additional projects and collaborations from previous Labex research focal areas have been supported. Two Embrapa researchers recently traveled to Pendleton, OR, to begin work on the adaptation of the soil carbon model, CQESTR, to tropical acidic soils, a project with large international use potential.