Under the direction of HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigators Jane Grimwood and Jeremy Schmutz, the GSC is one of the few centers in the world performing de novo sequencing of plants and specializing in applying genomic techniques to understand how plants function in response to environmental stimuli.

With funding from the Department of Energy, the Genome Center is a partner in the Joint Genome Institute, a virtual organization with laboratories throughout the United States. The primary focus of current research is in the field of bioenergy, supporting DOE initiatives related to clean energy generation. Sequence data produced at HudsonAlpha will be applied to the problem of reducing the U.S. dependency on imported oil by improving biomass yield and the efficiencies of processes used to convert plant materials into liquid fuels. In the cases of crop species such as sorghum, soybean, peach, citrus and millet, these genomic references form the basis for genomics-enabled crop breeding to increase yields and reduce pesticide and water use.

Through additional funding from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture, the center is also building a foundation for further genomic and functional research in crop plants and model plant systems such as common bean, cotton, and soybean. In collaboration with researcher groups around the world, the GSC applies its genomic approaches to solve current, real-world problems facing agriculture today.