ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The University of Minnesota is getting part of a $25 million grant to develop new wheat and barley varieties that will better withstand the stresses from climate change.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grant Wednesday. The project will span five years and involve 55 USDA and university scientists from 21 states. The leaders are Jorge Dubcovsky of the University of California at Davis and Gary Muehlbauer of the University of Minnesota. UC-Davis is the lead institution.

The National Association of Wheat Growers hails the grant as a significant investment. It says that unlike corn and soybeans, which get support from the big seed companies, wheat research has been underfunded and dependent on public money, though that's starting to change.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.