Development of a USDA NIFA SCRI proposal to combat onion bacterial diseases across the US

This BIOAg grant was used to support a postdoctorate, Dr. Louisa Winkler, to assist Dr. Lindsey du Toit, WSU Professor of Plant Pathology, prepare a 12-state, 20-person collaborative, multi-disciplinary proposal on onion bacterial diseases to the USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative in March 2018. The submitted proposal, which requested ~$3.5 million, ranked in the ‘highly recommended for funding’ category (2nd highest category), placing 39th out of 109 full proposals submitted. However, the proposal was not funded. Feedback from the grant review panel was used to revise the pre-proposal (Stakeholder Relevance Statement) during fall 2018, which was submitted in December 2018. The pre-proposal was accepted for submission of a full proposal. The full proposal was revised over winter and spring of 2019 based on panel feedback from the original submission, including expanding the team to 24 members from 12 states and one other country (a phytobacteriologist at the Univ. of Pretoria, South Africa, to increase the phytobacteriology expertise on the team). The proposal was submitted in late April 2019 (deadline was postponed a month because of the federal government shutdown and the reinstated requirement for 100% cost-share on SCRI proposals). The proposal was rated ‘Outstanding’, ranked in the top 13 of 101 proposals submitted, and was funded at $4,044,300 (Award No. 2019-51181-30013). The project start date was modified by NIFA to 1 Sep. 2019. Subcontracts with 11 institutions are being implemented although funding has not yet been received from NIFA because of the relocation of NIFA headquarters to Kansas City, MO in fall 2019. Multiple conference calls to initiate plans for the project have taken place in fall 2019. The first team meeting will be on 3-4 Feb. 2020 at the University of Georgia campus in Athens, with the Stakeholder Advisory Panel members joining by videoconference. A Project Manager, Dr. Heather MacKay, was hired in Nov. 2019 to help Dr. du Toit manage the project.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 174
  • Project Status: Complete


  • Principal Investigator(s): du Toit, L.
  • Investigator(s): Winkler, L.
  • Grant Amount: $8,000