RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — We may be seeing helpful new research emerge from Virginia State University (VSU) after it was announced on Thursday that the school recently received a $1.14 million grant to study soybean genetics.

According to a release on Oct. 27, the National Science Foundation has awarded Dr. Guo-Liang Jiang, an associate professor at VSU’s College of Agriculture, to study the nutritional benefits of soybeans and edamame and to identify the genes responsible for those key nutritional traits. Dr. Qijian Song, a research geneticist for the United States Department of Agriculture, will join Jiang in conducting the research on this topic.

VSU hopes Jiang and Song’s findings, which will be shared locally, nationally and internationally, can inform the general public about the health benefits of soybean and edamame, help governments and nonprofits make the best decisions when addressing issues of food insecurity, as well as provide farmers with the knowledge necessary to harvest better-quality and higher-yield crops.

“This project will help advance an in-depth understanding of genetic control of important traits in soybeans, especially edamame, and facilitate research in related agricultural areas,” Jiang said in VSU’s release. “It will also be helpful in STEM education and benefit society as a whole.”